Jordan - fast-food restaurants smoke free as of Jine 1, 2009..

May 30, 2009 - The Ministry of Health issued a circular banning smoking in shopping malls starting March 1,2009 while restaurants were given until June 2009.

Jordan's fast-food restaurants will officially become smoke-free zones as of June 1, 2009. In a statement sent to The Jordan Times, the Health Ministry said the decision was taken in collaboration with the Jordan Restaurants Association (JRA), as part of a plan to declare all restaurants smoke-free by the end of this year.

JRA President Zeid Goussous said the association is still conducting a study on the impact of the law before implementing it in tourist restaurants, noting that they “still need more time to study its effect on business. It is easier to implement the law in fast-food restaurants,” Goussous told The Jordan Times yesterday, adding that the decision and the implementation mechanism will depend on the results of the study. We might have a separate area for smokers in big restaurants, while the small ones can decide either to be smoke-free or not.”

The ministry has requested the JRA to provide it with the implementation mechanism by the end of the year, the statement added.

The Public Health Law was amended last year to prohibit smoking in public and private institutions and all public facilities. The ban includes hospitals, healthcare centres, schools, cinemas, theatres, libraries, museums, public and nongovernmental buildings, public transport vehicles, airports, closed playgrounds, lecture halls and any other location to be determined by the health minister.

The law was first implemented on March 1 in the Queen Alia International Airport and shopping malls.

Reference: Fast-food restaurants to become smoke-free zones as of June 1 by Khetam Malkawi, The Jordan Times, 5/29/2009.

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