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27 December 2018 03:57 am

MoPH begins campaign to raise awareness on Tobacco Law

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The Ministry of Public Health launched a national public awareness campaign on Law No.10 of 2016 on the control of tobacco and its derivatives.

Through the national public awareness campaign, the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) highlighting the significance of implementing the Tobacco Laws. The campaign aims to encourage residents to follow the tobacco control laws, and to emphasize the penalties for any violations of these laws to business. It also encourages the public to call the hotline dedicated to receive complains on violations of the Tobacco Law.

The law prohibits smoking in closed public spaces, including a ban on smoking in cars with minors.

These offences can lead to a fine of up to QR3,000. Shops that allow indoor tobacco use or allow the sale of tobacco products to minors can face steep fines and up to three months’ closure.

The law also prohibits advertising or promotions of tobacco products, the use of Sweika and other chewing tobacco products, and bans the sales of electronic cigarettes.

Sheikh Mohammed Al Thani, Director of Public Health, said, “Smoking is a significant public health concern in Qatar, therefore it is vital that we increase our efforts to combat tobacco use. The National Health Strategy 2018-2022 sets a target of reducing the prevalence of smoking, and achieving this includes enforcement of our law on tobacco control; which is not only designed to reduce tobacco consumption in Qatar, but also to protect non-smokers – such as children – who are exposed to harmful second-hand smoke.”

Dr Kholood Al Mutawa, Head of Health Promotion and Non-Communicable Diseases at MOPH, said: “By informing the public of the tobacco control Law and the consequences of violating it, we better equip the population to understand the rules and the importance of enforcing the law to create a tobacco free environment.”

Dr Kholood, also stressed that Secondhand smoke is a major health risk in particular to children and young people being exposed to it. “Tobacco smoke contains over 4000 chemicals and it is important people are protected from the harms of second hand smoke. Everyone has the right to live in a smoke-free environment away from the harms caused by tobacco and by discouraging smoking in public we can work towards this goal of a healthier nation.” The public can report violations of the tobacco control law to the Tobacco Inspection Team on 50302001.

Source: The Peninsula

Cover Photo: Image: Shutterstock