The National Anti-Tobacco Committee (NATC) is expected to request King Abdullah, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, to issue a decision banning smoking in public places.
The proposal was made during a meeting chaired by Dr, Abdullah Al-Rabea, Minister of Health, in Riyadh. The minister said the committee would ask “the ministries of Commerce and Industry and Municipal and Rural Affairs to issue a law banning the selling of tobacco to children. It will also restrict the selling of tobacco to those who are licensed against paying a certain amount of fees.”
The NATC Secretary General, Dr. Majed Al-Muneef, called for the enforcement of GCC Council of Health Ministers’ recommendations governing the marketing and promotion of tobacco products.
The committee also recommended the banning of tobacco product advertising and that special licenses be introduced for smokers. It also called for the banning of single cigarette sales and the use of misleading promotional words such as “low tar”, “light” or “nice”.
The committee urged the implementation of a number of recommendations made by the Minister of Health.
These include a study to estimate the health and economic burdens resulting from smoking in the Kingdom.
Al-Muneef also recommended that “tobacco products undergo tests of the Saudi Specifications and Quality Standards Organization and the Saudi Arabian Food and Drug Authority to ensure they conform to strict specifications”.
Finally, he called for “an education campaign by the ministries of Education and Health using the latest media technology to educate male and female students about the risks and harms of smoking”.