Call for ban on sheesha from city centre in Oman

Energy Saturday 08/October/2016 21:26 PM
By: Times News Service
Call for ban on sheesha from city centre in Oman

Muscat: A large number of sheesha (tobacco smoking) restaurants have been fined after they were found violating the rules and regulations laid down by the municipalities.
A sheesha restaurant will now have to be located at least 200 metres away from residential neighbourhoods, educational institutions and places of worship, according to a new law passed by Ministry of Regional Municipalities on May 22, 2016. Speaking to the Times of Oman, Dr Jawad Al Lawati, senior consultant and rapporteur for the National Tobacco Control Committee at the Ministry of Health, however, said sheesha cafes should be pushed outside Muscat.
“I think sheesha can only be smoked about 30 kilometres away from Muscat in non-residential areas to safeguard public health. It is quite annoying for the some of the families, who live near the sheesha cafes as they can’t even open their windows sometimes.
” He also said recently Saudi Arabia had pushed all its sheesha cafes outside the city limits.
“Let them go outside the city limits, if they want to smoke,” he said. Recently, a meeting of the National Committee for Tobacco Control (NCTC) was held to discuss how the importing and trading of electronic cigarettes and sheesha can be curbed.
Officials said the meeting also discussed various aspects of the efforts to bring uniformity in norms governing sheesha cafes in public places and residential areas.
Tobacco control The meeting also reviewed the progress achieved in implementing the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in the Sultanate.
The convention includes a decision of the Ministry of Information to ban any tobacco advertising across all mass media. Members of the National Tobacco Control Committee and Oman Anti-Tobacco Society also called for stricter regulations to stop the sale of single cigarettes.
“This will also keep children away from tobacco,” they said. Municipality officials said raids has been conducted following complaints received from citizens about the growing number of sheesha cafes in residential areas.
A resident said some sheesha cafes are only a few metres away from his house. “We can smell sheesha every day, which was very annoying,” he said. According to the World Health Organisation, smoking sheesha is equivalent to smoking 100 cigarettes in one sitting.

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