UAE : Anti Smoking Legislation - Price of Cigarettes to Double

Source : The National

Abu Dhabi - Jan 14: The price of a packet of 20 cigarettes should double to about Dh14, the Ministry of Health (MoH) has proposed, to help get people to ditch the habit.

The price increase is just one of a raft of anti-smoking restrictions being considered as part of a new law that will ban smoking in some public and private locations, outlaw tobacco advertising and require more detailed warnings on cigarette packets.

Some details of the legislation were announced this week, but officials were unable to clarify when the changes would take effect.

Dr Wedad al Maidour, the head of the MoH tobacco control team, said: “We would like to increase the cost, but this is not possible through increases in the import tax,” she said.

“We can, however, raise the cost through increases in different taxes.

“In the first stage we would aim to double the price of a packet of cigarettes. We would also increase the price regularly, maybe every five years.”

She said studies in other countries have shown price increases help deter smoking, especially among teenagers and the money could be used to treat people who suffer from smoking-related illnesses.

Currently, tobacco products have warnings in Arabic and English reminding people that smoking is the main cause of cancer and lung, heart and artery disease.

These will be replaced by more graphic warnings, which are expected to cover half the area of the packet and may include images designed to discourage smoking.

The new law, which will forbid smoking on public transport or in enclosed public spaces, will be enforced by police and municipal inspectors. Cafes and restaurants located in residential areas will be given two years to relocate or implement the ban.

It will also be illegal to sell cigarettes to people under 18, or to smoke in a car in which there is a child under 12.

People who break the law will face fines of up to Dh1 million (US$272,000) and jail sentences of more than two years.

Doctors welcomed the ban. “I think this is a hugely positive step, particularly the idea to ban smoking in cars with children,” said Dr Jon Craig, from the American Hospital in Dubai.

“It is absolutely criminal that people do that with their own children in their cars.

Dr Amira Elsayed, a consultant family physician at the Mushrif Clinic in Abu Dhabi, said: “I think this can only help improve the health of people in the UAE. Second-hand smoking is a serious threat to people’s health.”


Top Stories

Comment on this article

  • salim, udupi,dubai

    Sat, Jan 16 2010

    I think its time to see people in dubai smoking beedi, and its good opportunity for beedi companies.

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • Mhato Nath, Nepal

    Sat, Jan 16 2010

    It is a very stupid idea to increase the price (may be to make money) instead increasing price of tobacco , just ban import of tobacco to the country. Government do not take this measure because a heavy tax income comes from tobeacco it self.

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • rama, udupa

    Fri, Jan 15 2010

    Hope this price hike will help the Dubai govt bail out ther debts!

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • Shetty, Halady

    Fri, Jan 15 2010

    Good work! initially smoking is banned in malls and private places now it is price hike should be AED21.00 per pack of 20 cigerettes

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • Charles D'Mello, Pangala

    Thu, Jan 14 2010

    Totally ban the cigarettes, as some countries have imposed ban on Alcohol..!!!??? Which tobacco grovers you are taking care of (As in India)..!!??? The price increase to deter the sale of cigarettes is just a false excuse by the government to make money...!!??

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

Leave a Comment

Title: UAE : Anti Smoking Legislation - Price of Cigarettes to Double

You have 2000 characters left.


Please write your correct name and email address. Kindly do not post any personal, abusive, defamatory, infringing, obscene, indecent, discriminatory or unlawful or similar comments. will not be responsible for any defamatory message posted under this article.

Please note that sending false messages to insult, defame, intimidate, mislead or deceive people or to intentionally cause public disorder is punishable under law. It is obligatory on Daijiworld to provide the IP address and other details of senders of such comments, to the authority concerned upon request.

Hence, sending offensive comments using daijiworld will be purely at your own risk, and in no way will be held responsible.