Jordan - violations of public health anti-smoking law being enforced..

September 14, 2010 - Health authorities have referred the owner of a tobacco shop to court for violating the Public Health Law. Health ministry inspectors on Wednesday, September 8th discovered that a shop was promoting argileh (nargile, hubble-bubble, water pipe, hooka, shisha, goza, meassel, hookah) smoking among the public, which is prohibited according to the law, said Malek Habashneh, director of the health ministry`s awareness department.

The Cabinet on Sunday, May 9, 2010 decided to ban smoking in ministries and government institutions as well as public places as of May 25, in accordance to the Public Health Law that prohibits smoking in public places. (Jordan - gradual implementation of smoking ban - will it work??)

Jordan has an extensive history with tobacco control policies and programmes that have shaped its current tobacco control infrastructure. Jordan's initial anti-smoking regulation was part of a public health law issued in 1971.
For more information: A surveillance summary of smoking and review of tobacco control in Jordan - Comment and note on tobacco legislation, control policies, programmes in Jordan, Adel Belbeisi,Mohannad Al Nsour, Anwar Batieha, David W Brown and Henry T Walke, Global Health, Global Health. 2009; 5: 18.
Published online 2009 December 1. doi: 10.1186/1744-8603-5-18..
According to Habashneh, the Amman shop was distributing free disposable argileh hoses and tobacco to promote its products.

“In Jordan, it is forbidden to promote cigarettes or argileh in anyway,” Habashneh told The Jordan Times yesterday. He stressed that the law stipulates that any person found promoting smoking is subject to a penalty of imprisonment ranging from three to six months or a JD500-JD1,000 fine.

The active promotion of tobacco products hinders the ministry’s strategy to curb smoking among teenagers, Habashneh pointed out, adding that inspection teams will be on alert during the Eid Al Fitr holiday to prevent smoking in public places.

Meanwhile, 167 violators of the public smoking ban have been referred to court and 500 violators have received warnings since the enforcement of the law in May 2010.

According to Habashneh, the violations were committed in public agencies, malls and other public places.

According to the law, smoking is prohibited in public places, including hospitals, healthcare centres, schools, cinemas, theatres, libraries, museums, public and non-governmental buildings, public transport vehicles, airports, closed playgrounds, lecture halls and any other location to be determined by the health minister.

The law also stipulates that any person caught smoking in a public place is subject to between one week and one month imprisonment or a JD15-JD25 fine. The same penalties apply to those who sell cigarettes to minors.

Reference: Shop owner referred to court for promoting argileh smoking by Khetam Malkawi, The Jordan Times, 9/10/2010.

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