Anti-Smoking Laws in the UAE

One of the key indicators of world-class healthcare is the reduction of cigarettes and other tobacco products. This is part of the UAE National Agenda, which encompasses Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, and all other emirates that comprise the country.

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In line with this, the National Tobacco Control Committee aims to implement a total ban on smoking in public areas. By 2021, the country is keen on reducing tobacco consumption from 21.6 percent to 15.7 percent among men, and from 1.9 percent to 1.66 among women.

Anti-Smoking Laws in the UAE

Laws Against Smoking in the UAE

In 2008, the government of Sharjah issued a ban on all kinds of smoking, including the smoking of shisha, in public areas. The following year, Federal Law No. 15 of 2009 was issued, placing strict prohibitions and penalties against:

  • Selling tobacco products to people below 18 years old;
  • Smoking in private vehicles in the presence of children below 12 years old;
  • Smoking in places of worship, schools, health facilities, and sports facilities;
  • Selling sweets that resemble tobacco products;
  • Selling tobacco products through automatic vending machines; and
  • Smoking in closed public spaces.

Rules Against Smoking Shisha

Similarly, the country has enforced the following rules against smoking shisha:

  • In Dubai, smoking shisha is banned in parks, beaches, and all public recreational areas.
  • Dubai also prohibits pregnant women from entering shisha cafés, regardless of whether they intend to smoke or not.
  • Across the UAE, shisha cafés are banned from operating within 150 metres of residential areas, mosques, and schools — unless they have applied for a special license.

These laws against smoking may seem rather strict, especially if you come from a place where it is allowed, at least in public places. Still, rules are rules, and if we’re going to live and work here in the UAE for a long time, we should always be aware of these laws and strive to follow them at all times.

DISCLAIMER: The above guide is presented for informative purposes only. To learn more about the specific provisions for tobacco and tobacco products in the emirates, please visit the UAE Government Portal.

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