UAE Law Imposes More Than Dh5,000 Fine Against Smoking Near Children

In the United Arab Emirates, smoking is prevalent, and the proliferation of electronic cigarettes and vape pens has made it much simpler for smokers to get and consume tobacco products.

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Dubai enforces stringent measures to combat smoking in the vicinity of children and the illegal supply of tobacco-related products to minors, reflecting a proactive stance against the harmful effects of tobacco use. In the UAE, smoking is a prevalent habit among residents, further facilitated by the availability of alternative smoking methods such as e-cigarettes and vapes.

Health experts emphasize that non-smokers exposed to second-hand smoke face similar health risks as active smokers, with children being particularly vulnerable, especially in enclosed spaces. According to data from the World Health Organization, tobacco consumption claims the lives of over 8 million individuals annually, including approximately 1.3 million non-smokers exposed to second-hand smoke.

UAE legislation, particularly the Wadeema Law safeguarding children's rights, prohibits smoking in the presence of minors. Article 21 of the law stipulates a strict ban on smoking in any form of public or private transportation when a child under the age of 12 is present. This prohibition extends to smoking within enclosed areas or rooms where children are present, with violators subject to fines starting at Dh5,000.

Additionally, the law imposes severe penalties on individuals involved in the sale or attempted sale of tobacco products to minors. Those found guilty face imprisonment for a minimum of three months and/or fines not less than Dh15,000. Sellers are mandated to verify the purchaser's age, requiring proof of being 18 years or older. Similar penalties apply to the sale of alcoholic beverages and other hazardous materials to minors, underscoring the government's commitment to safeguarding the well-being of children and adolescents from the adverse effects of substance use.

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