Page last updated at 12:22 GMT, Monday, 12 October 2009 13:22 UK

Assad decrees Syria smoking ban

Syrian cafe
Smoking, like traditional story telling, has been a feature of Syrian cafe life

Syria's president has issued a decree banning smoking inside cafes, restaurants and other public spaces.

The decree also outlaws smoking in educational institutions, health centres, sports halls, cinemas and theatres and on public transport.

Workers must not smoke during meetings and businesses need to provide well-ventilated areas for smokers.

The restrictions include the nargile, or hubble-bubble pipe, which is a favourite among locals and tourists.

The decree signed by President Bashar al-Assad, a qualified medical doctor, imposes a fine of at least 2,000 Syrian pounds ($46) on those who break the ban.

The Syrian government has passed several laws restricting smoking in the last two decades.

A decree in 1996 banned tobacco advertising while a 2006 law outlawed smoking on public transport and in some public places, introducing fines for offenders. Under-18s are not allowed to buy tobacco.

The World Health Organization is unable to provide details on tobacco consumption in Syria, but levels of smoking in public is high across the Arab world, especially among men.

Iraq's cabinet recently agreed a draft law outlining similar measures, causing uproar amongst smokers.

Print Sponsor

Long-isolated Syria warms to tourism
18 Nov 08 |  Business
Smoking - the health effects
08 Feb 03 |  Health
Smoking curbs: The global picture
01 Jul 09 |  Special Reports
Syria inches in from the cold
08 Dec 08 |  Middle East
Syria welcomes expatriates home
28 May 08 |  Middle East
Syria back in international fold
04 Sep 08 |  Middle East
Sexy secrets of the Syrian souk
16 Dec 08 |  Middle East

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2020 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific