Muscat, Oman - no smoking in closed public areas..


Image Credit: Gulf News Archive..
April 12, 2010 - As of Friday, April 2, 2010 you cannot light up anywhere in Muscat you feel like. Even as you reach out for your cigarette, you have to be sure you are out in the open unless you are ready to pay 100 to 300 rials as fine. Establishment owners will also be fined 100 rials (260.08 USD) to 300 rials (780.23 USD) if the smoking ban is not enforced. Violators are liable to be fined 100 Omani riyals if caught smoking in restricted areas. Repeat violations attract fines as high as 200 riyals on the second offence, while third-time offenders face up to 300 riyals in fines, civic officials revealed.

The municipality’s decision No. 2/2009 to ban smoking in closed public areas will be imposed with the help of the Ministry of Health and other government departments. ‘Closed Public Places' include: shopping malls, restaurants, coffee shops, and industrial and commercial establishments, effectively become ‘no-smoking zones' under Muscat Municipality's new crackdown on tobacco use

What I love about the new law is that not only will the smoker be fined 100-300 rials but the establishment itself can be fined 100-300 rials if the law is not enforced. (Andy in Oman -
Smokers, BEWARE! Non-Smokers, REJOICE!!!
, April 2, 2010)

“The ban is applicable to all enclosed and semi-enclosed public places such as workplaces, hotels, shopping malls, hospitals, educational institutions, and restaurants”, Qais bin Sulaiman al Kushri, Director, Health Affairs, Muscat Municipality, told the Observer.

Some of the shopping malls, restaurants and coffee shops in town have already placed “no smoking” boards and signages. “We are taking this ban seriously and we started implementing it a few weeks ago,” said Joseph Rodricks, assistant manager of The Golden Oryx restaurant chain. “A majority of our customers come to our restaurant with their families. Only a few of them smoke and we used to offer them some special areas. But now, we have removed the ash trays from the smoking corners,” he said. The restaurant, which used to sell cigarettes to customers at their request, is now planning to stop the sale.

Ibrahim Al Qassimi, General Manager, Muscat City Centre, believes the ban will have a positive effect on the visitors and the time they spend in the mall. The ban will also extend to chewing and sniffing all tobacco products and retailers could face tougher penalties for selling tobacco products to under 18s, including jail sentences, he said.

Many countries with a similar ban have managed to reduce number of smokers in their societies”. Dr Asya al Riyami, Director of Research & Studies, Ministry of Health said Oman’s government offices are already smoke-free zones. Since the risk is same everywhere, the current ban on commercial establishments in Muscat needs to be extended to other regions of the country as well”. The aim is to provide a healthy atmosphere at public places, she added.

References: Muscat Municipality’s ban on smoking in public places welcomed, Oman Daily Observer, 3/31/2010; Happy to be smoke-free Team OT feels the pulse of a city getting set for a ban on smoking in closed public areas, Inputs by Rejimon K and Anupama Arunkumar, Oman Tribune, 4/1/2010; Smokers face fines as Muscat city embraces new curbs on tobacco use, Staff Report, Gulfnews.com, 4/3/2010.

Oman has ratified the
WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) Treaty as of June 27, 2007.


1 comments:

  Joy Pappy

May 17, 2011 at 5:52 AM

I was searching for smoking laws in Oman, thats when i came across this post. I must say that why is the apartments left out from the ban? People living in Apartment Buildings should also take care to keep the environment clean. I've few bachelors living in my building who smoke in their bathroom, which results in the second hand smoke coming to our bedrooms and living room through the plumbing system/ventilations. With family and kids, it becomes very difficult to live in such environment. Especially the kids are the most affected. Do we have any law in Oman which streamlines the smoking inside apartment buildings.