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December 22nd, 2007:

Smoking Ban In All Public Places In Iran

Posted on : 2007-12-22 | Author : DPA – Earth Times – News Category : Middle East

Tehran – As of Saturday, Iran will implement a strict smoking ban in all public places, Tehran media reported. According to the new law, smoking is prohibited in all public organizations, hotels, restaurants, tea houses and coffee shops.

Police has been ordered to decisively confront all restaurant owners nationwide with a warning first, then temporary closing and, in case of repetition, permanent closing of their enterprise.

Also forbidden is the offering and smoking of the traditional Persian water-pipe which is a must in Iranian tea houses.

The ban could inflict heavy losses especially for tea houses and coffee shops – there are no bars or pubs in Islamic Iran – but it is expected that the ban would be widely ignored except in hotels where controls are tighter.

A smoking ban for all car drivers nationwide was implemented since last March and although offenders could face fines up to 14 US dollars, the ban was widely ignored by the drivers.

Also selling tobacco products to anyone under 18 would result in confiscation of the vendor’s tobacco products and a cash fine up to 65 dollars. Repeated violations would lead to cash fines amounting to 1,400 dollars.

There are no official statistics on the number of smokers in Iran but it is said that 60,000 Iranians die directly or indirectly due to smoking every year.