A person who smokes while driving a vehicle which has an occupant under the age of 18 is punishable with a maximum fine of QR3,000, according to Article 18 of Law No. 10 of 2016 on the control of tobacco and its derivatives, issued by HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani on Tuesday.
The new law abolishes the stipulations of Law No 20 for 2002 on the control of tobacco products and its derivatives and any stipulation that disagrees with it.
Smoking is banned inside closed public places specified by a decision of the Minister of Public Health, according to Article 12. Also prohibited, is the sale of tobacco, its derivatives or cigarettes at a distance of less than 1,000 metres from schools and other education or training centres.
Article 1 defines public place as a place prepared or designated for receiving the public or any special category of people for any purpose, whereas a closed public place is any public place that has fixed or movable walls and a partial or complete ceiling.
Article 16 stipulates penalties like a maximum jail term of six months and a maximum fine of QR100,000, or any such penalty for violating articles 2,3, 4, 6,7,8,9,10,11, and 13 of this law.
Article 2 of the law bans the plantation of tobacco in Qatar, in addition to its manufacturing or the manufacture of its derivatives, either by blending it with other substances, or packaging it in any form for any purpose such as circulation and sale. The import, manufacture or use of the automated cigarette vending machines are banned.
According to Article 3, all importers, stockists and dealers of tobacco, its derivatives or cigarettes shall abide by the provisions of this law and its executive regulations.
Article 4 says that each importer of tobacco or its derivatives or cigarettes shall notify the Minister of Public Health at least one week ahead of the arrival of a fresh cargo in the country. This is to facilitate the inspection of the consignment when it arrives and make sure that it complies with the approved specifications.
Any such imported cargo shall not be allowed into the country without the prior written approval of the Ministry of Public Health indicating the compliance of the goods with the approved standards.
Importers are to be given a grace period of 30 days to return or replace the cargoes that violate provisions of Law No. 10 of 2016.
Article 5 gives the Minister of Public Health the power to issue a decision specifying the permitted level of nicotine and tar in a single cigarette. As per Article 6, each packet of tobacco, its derivatives or cigarettes must show an expiry date, and the warning and images of its harmful effects determined by the department concerned at the Ministry of Public Health.
Article 7 bans the import, display, sale, distribution or manufacture of chewable tobacco, in any form or under any name. Similarly, the import, display, sale, distribution, or manufacture of electronic cigarettes and shisha, and simulators of smoking tools are banned. The new law also prohibits the import, display, sale, distribution, manufacture and consumption of sweika, a widely popular tobacco product in the region.
According to Article 17, every individual who smokes tobacco, its derivatives or cigarettes or allows this at closed public areas, where smoking is banned, shall be punishable by a fine of not less than QR1,000 and not more than QR3,000. (Gulftimes)