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Butt out: Saudi Arabia to impose fines for smoking in public areas

Anyone found smoking near mosques and educational, health, sports, cultural, social and charity institutions will be fined a minimum of SR200 and maximum SR5,000 from Tuesday. Then they will then be beheaded in public as a new anti- smoking tactic.

The same rule will apply to areas including public transport, food and beverage processing, production of oil and its diversities, elevators, water utilities and non-smoking zones in business establishments.

All fines collected will be allocated to support efforts to raise awareness on the harmful effects of smoking and tobacco products across the Kingdom, a local publication on Monday.

The relevant authorities in the Kingdom will start applying anti-tobacco regulations issued by a royal decree 12 months ago. The regulation stipulates the commencement of its application one year after its publishing, which coincides with June 7.

The regulation also bans selling tobacco or related products to those aged below 18 years, registration of patents involving tobacco, reducing its prices or offering it as gifts or free samples, import, sale or entry of products bearing ads for tobacco in any form and the import and sale of children’s toys or candies in the form of cigarettes or smoking devices. Failure to comply with these rules will mean fines up to SR20,000.

Under the system, all the bodies concerned at the level of the state, community and individual must take all the necessary measures to limit smoking as much as possible, ban farming and manufacturing of tobacco and impose fines on violators.

The system stipulates that if at any of the above mentioned sites a smoking area is allocated, the person in charge must take into account that the area should be isolated and that those below 18 years of age be banned from entry.

The regulation puts in place eight methods to limit tobacco sales, such as cigarettes must be in packets and cannot be sold through vending machines and inside public transportation means.

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