Qatar’s Ministry of Public Health has launched a new hotline for the public to report if they find any one smoking in public.
Hotline No : 5030 2001
Residents can call the number 5030 2001 to lodge complaints that include smoking in public places or observing stores selling tobacco to children, Doha News has reported.
Inspectors at malls
A squad of eight inspectors are working on two shifts between 10 am and 10 pm and will target the malls where indoor smoking is most prevalent, namely Landmark, City Center, Villaggio and Ezdan malls, the report said.
Offenders caught by the inspectors will be given a QR500 fine on the spot.
For years, the government has been considering introducing stricter anti-smoking measures such as increasing the fines for shops found selling cigarettes to children, or closing down stores which repeatedly break the law. But these have yet to be enacted.
Cultivation or processing of tobacco or its derivatives is prohibited in Qatar, through preparation, mixing with other substances or packing in any form and for any purpose, such as sale or resale.
Qatar has also prohibited import or use of any automatic machine for vending of cigarette.
It is prohibited to sell tobacco or its derivatives, in any form to any person under 18 years; and the seller’s ignorance of the buyer’s age at the time of sale shall not be an excuse; and the seller is required to take all precautionary measures to make sure of the buyer’s age.
However, the law is often openly flouted especially by the youth, forcing authorities to introduce stronger measures and more campaigns.