Ministry of Health gets tough on smoking in public.
By Hangaw Rashaddadin
"The owners of shopping malls, hotels, restaurants and inns will be fined 500,000 Iraqi dinars if they allow people to smoke,"
The Ministry of Health issued new regulations in which the owners of public places are responsible for preventing smokers from lighting up. If the owners do not enforce the regulations, they will be fined.
"The owners of shopping malls, hotels, restaurants and inns will be fined 500,000 Iraqi dinars if they allow people to smoke," said the Speaker of the Ministry of Health Dr. Qadir Khalis.
Khalis said that the owners of public areas will face a heavy fine 1,000,000 ID for repeat offenses. If someone is caught smoking for a third time, the business will be shut down for a week. Those selling tobacco products face prosecution if they sell cigarettes to people under 18.
Smoking causes a number of effects, including constricting the airways and raising blood pressure. The carbon monoxide also deprives the body of oxygen. Smoking can lead to a number of serious diseases, including lung cancer, emphysema and respiratory diseases.
Khalis explained the public smoking ban also applies to colleges, universities, airplanes and all government buildings. Government employees will not be fined, but their administrative heads will take measures against them.
Khalis said more than 100 million people died in the 20th century and the toll could reach 1 billion this century, worldwide. He said it will take some time to get everyone to comply with the regulations, but that the ministry will take it step by step.
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