In the UAE, there is a large smoking community, and at approximately Dhs10 a pack, cigarettes are definitely affordable. However, the UAE has banned smoking in enclosed public places since 2009.
The UAE smoke-free law was implemented to prevent the harmful effects of the nicotine and other toxins from tobacco smoke not only on smokers but also, especially, to second-hand smokers.
For some time now, the United Arab Emirates has implemented smoke-free zones. This has made it a much more comfortable place to be in the Middle East for non-smokers.
The Dubai Municipality has implemented stricter control on the sales of tobacco to those under age (18-years old), as well has implemented the banning of smoking in public places; bars and clubs, as well as workplaces, parks and recreation areas have now become smoke-free.
In addition, the anti-tobacco law has banned smoking in private vehicles when youths under 12 years are riding in it; this provision is part of theDubai Road Safety Strategyprohibiting smoking in vehicles carrying children.
Salah Amiri, Assistant Director-General of Dubai Municipality states there is a comprehensive guide regulating the smoking in public placesin shopping centers, hotels, restaurants and cafes.
Sultan Suwaidi, Head of Public Safety Section at Public Health and Safety Department, informed that the municipality has set up designated smoking areas in order not to jeopardize the health of non-smokers and to aid those who are attempting to quit.
The UAE anti-tobacco law in effect today that limits the selling of cigarettes to minors and the anti-smoking regulations banning indoor smoking in public areas (and elsewhere) have been the most important step UAE and Dubai could take to protect their people from developing health problems. Dr Hanan Obaid, Head of Community Health Services programme section at Dubai Health Authority and the leader of the Tobacco Free Dubai project says it has allowed people who prefer to be in a non-smoking environment a healthier ambience.
Violators of the new anti-smoking regulations in public areas face fines ranging from Dh10,000 to Dh80,000, a senior municipal official warned. This may ultimately help people quit their smoking habits altogether.
Recent statistics from the World Health Organization shows that the top cause of death in Dubai is cardiovascular disease, which includes coronary heart disease (CHD) which is often linked to smoking! In fact, smoking is accused of being responsible to damages to the heart, causing blood clots, raising blood pressureand triggering shortness of breath. Smoking is also linked to other serious health hazard that can lead to stroke and lung cancer.