This is NO April Fool’s joke but tomorrow there is supposed to be a new law banning smoking in public places in the municipality of Muscat! Too good to be true!! YIPPEE!!! I wonder if they decided to start the new law on April 2nd rather than April 1st for fear that people might not take it seriously if implemented on April 1st. At any rate, it will be interesting to see if smokers will respect this law and if it will be taken seriously. Newspapers here have covered the fact that this law will start tomorrow including Oman Tribune and the Oman Observer. I especially enjoyed the Oman Observer’s article as it has a lot of important statistics on the dangers of smoking. “Passive smoking is especially risky for children and babies and can cause low birth weight babies, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), bronchitis, pneumonia, and middle ear infections. “Smoking is the major cause of disease and sufferings the world over. Tobacco smoke contains many substances — nicotine, carbon monoxide as well as various toxic hydrocarbons. There are about 4,000 different substances found in tobacco smoke. Among these, 60 are known cancer-causing chemicals”. Dr Shahnaz Shah al Balushi, head of Oman’s Central Blood Bank, said, “The no smoking ban by the Muscat Municipality is an excellent move. Everyone will support it. In fact, it needs to be extended to all parts of the country and not just Muscat”. Dr Asya Ali Masoud al Riyami, Director of Research & Studies, Ministry of Health, applauded the move and said the no-smoking initiative in all enclosed and semi-enclosed public places was long overdue.” I wholeheartedly agree with Dr. Balushi that this new law MUST be extended to all areas of the country-not just Muscat!
Apparently this ban on smoking has been TALKED about since at least 2004. I read this from the oman community blog from September of 2007.
What I love about the new law is that not only will the smoker be fined 100-300 rials but the establishment itself can be fined 100-300 rials if the law is not enforced. Why is this important?! There are so many selfish people who only care about “their own rights” and could care less about the fact that their second-hand smoke could slowly kill all those around them! So when some punk refuses to comply when I approach them (and I do plan on doing this!), even if they have no intention of respecting the air of others, the managers will probably take it more seriously!
WELL DONE, MUSCAT MUNICIPALITY!!! And for the smokers out there crying, “What about us?”, I have 2 words for you: BOO HOO!!!