Quotes: MENA   Enter Symbol: NewsLetter: Search: advanced

Jordan hookah ban sparks public outcry  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - AFP - 05/02/2014
No. of Ratings : 0
Add to Mixx!



(MENAFN - AFP) There's no smoke without ire: a ban on water pipes in restaurants and cafes has caused uproar in Jordan where 1 billion worth of tobacco goes up in smoke every year.Under a decision based on a 2008 law that was not previously enforced, the government has announced that by the end of 2014 the licences of more than 5,000 establishments that serve hookahs will be revoked.Furious smokers and cafe owners say the move will affect their lifestyle and a 1.5 billion (1.1 billion euro) industry, jeopardising the jobs of 12,000 people."This decision will definitely have a negative impact on us and mean thousands of people lose their jobs," said cafe manager Emran Torsha.His popular Jafra cafe in central Amman serves around 2,000 customers daily, half of them smokers."The government should not make decisions this way," Torsha said as dozens of men and women, young and old, smoked hookah with their drinks and snacks and listened to live music."What should we do with customers who come here to escape from life's daily pressures?"

Tourism Minister Nidal Qatamin has urged "a gradual implementation of the ban, taking business interests into consideration".But Health Minister Ali Hiasat is adamant, vowing that Jordan will be free of hookah smoking by the end of 2014."The government will not go back on this decision," Hiasat says.Smokers ignore the banAmman began enforcing the anti-smoking law in 2010, two years after it entered the statute books.But it was still widely ignored -- including in government buildings and in public places such as hospitals and schools.Under the legislation, convicted violators face up to a month in jail or a fine of between 21 and 35 (16 to 26 euros).Tougher penalties can hit people who smoke in kindergartens: they face imprisonment of up to six months or a maximum fine of 1,400."If the government wants to preserve public health, it should find a solution to vehicle, industrial and waste pollution," Torsha said, adding that Jafra's hookah licence expires in February.Health experts warn that the many fruity flavours of hookah -- also known as narghile, arghila and shisha -- can make users forget they are inhaling tobacco.

They also say that since it takes longer to smoke than a cigarette, hookah is even more dangerous."What is the substitute for us after the government banned arghila? Where should we go?" asked Wasim Yusef, a 36-year-old employee at a privately owned firm, as he smoked hookah at Jafra with friends."Smoking arghila has become a tradition. It's my only entertainment. I think the ban is wrong -- it should be reconsidered."Smoking hookah is both popular and cheap in Jordan, where delivery companies supplying water pipes have sprung up across the kingdom.Nearly half the population smokesPrices for a smoke at cafes and restaurants start from 4, while a water pipe can be bought for home use from around 11.Officials are concerned about the effect of smoking in a country where nearly half of the population of seven million indulge in tobacco."Every year, a total of 5,000 cancer cases are registered in Jordan. Around 40 percent of these are related to smoking," said Firas Hawwari of the King Hussein Cancer Centre."Fighting smoking has become a strategic decision for Jordan. It should be implemented without any delay."

Faten Hanaia, who heads the Tobacco-Free Jordan society, agreed, calling the ban "a first step towards preventing smoking in all public places, and we know this takes time".Other countries in the region have banned smoking in public areas, but again many people just ignore the rules."I don't understand this government decision," Amal Nasser, a 40-year-old non-smoker, told AFP at a cafe in western Amman."I think banning arghila is the least of our worries. There are other priorities. For example, we need pavements, decent roads, parks and much more."How about enforcing the smoking ban for real in government buildings?" she suggested."I don't think there's a pressing demand in Jordan to ban arghila. If people want to blow smoke in other people's faces in an arghila place, let them do it."

 


AFP




  MENA News Headlines
 Mar 31 2015 - US Crude Recovery May Be Limited, Natural Gas Braces For Storage DataDailyFX
(MENAFN - DailyFX) Gold slumped on Wednesday as its pricing currency the USD gained on the back of the December FOMCdecision. The removal of the 'considerable time' phrase from the policy statement, ...

 Mar 31 2015 - A noble gesture by UAE's Sheikh Hamdan: paperEmirates News Agency (WAM)
(MENAFN - Emirates News Agency (WAM)) The decision of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council to donate his Dubai World ...

 Mar 31 2015 - Etihad Airways celebrates arrival of inaugural Alitalia flights from Venice and Milan to Abu DhabiEmirates News Agency (WAM)
(MENAFN - Emirates News Agency (WAM)) Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, joined celebrations at Abu Dhabi International Airport yesterday to welcome the arrival of its ...

 Mar 31 2015 - UAE's Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research joins local and federal scholarship authorities to activate National Scholarship DatabaseEmirates News Agency (WAM)
(MENAFN - Emirates News Agency (WAM)) On the instructions of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, to coordinate and unite efforts with all ...

 Mar 31 2015 - UAE's Assistant Under-Secretary for Protocol Affairs at MoFA attends reception at Bangladesh EmbassyEmirates News Agency (WAM)
(MENAFN - Emirates News Agency (WAM)) Shehab Ahmed Mohammed Al Fahim, Assistant Under-Secretary for Protocol Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, attended a reception last night hosted by ...

 Mar 31 2015 - UAE's Minister of Environment discusses cooperation with Ambassadors of Poland and EritreaEmirates News Agency (WAM)
(MENAFN - Emirates News Agency (WAM)) Dr. Rashid Ahmed bin Fahad, Minister of Environment and Water, has met with Adam Krzymowski, Poland's Ambassador to the UAE, and discussed ways to enhance ...

 Mar 31 2015 - UAE's DLD sponsors fifth cycle of Princess Haya Award for Special EducationEmirates News Agency (WAM)
(MENAFN - Emirates News Agency (WAM)) Dubai Land Department, DLD, has signed a sponsorship agreement with the Princess Haya Award for Special Education, PHASE, to host its fifth cycle due to be held ...

 Mar 31 2015 - Talented Emirati musicians perform for patients across the UAE to aid their recoveryEmirates News Agency (WAM)
(MENAFN - Emirates News Agency (WAM)) The Abu Dhabi Festival, in association with Mubadala, has brought the popular 'Music in Hospitals' initiative to healthcare facilities across the UAE for the ...

 Mar 31 2015 - UAE's FCA launches customs statistics service on smart phonesEmirates News Agency (WAM)
(MENAFN - Emirates News Agency (WAM)) The Federal Customs Authority yesterday launched a customs statistics service on its website and a smart phone application to respond to customers' enquiries on ...

 Mar 31 2015 - UAE remains dedicated to covering health needs of Syrian population affected by crisisEmirates News Agency (WAM)
(MENAFN - Emirates News Agency (WAM)) The UAE is dedicated to fulfilling the financial gap in the health sector of the Syrian refugee population in order to meet their basic humanitarian and health ...

more...


 






Google

Arab Advisors_12th convergence conf

 
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

MENAFN News Market Data Countries Tools Section  
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network
Arabic MENAFN

Main News
News By Industry
News By Country

Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

Search News

Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

Commodoties

Oil & Energy

Currencies Cross Rates
Currencies Updates
Currency Converter

USA Stocks
Arab Stocks
 

Algeria 
Bahrain 
Egypt 
Iraq
Jordan 
Kuwait 
Lebanon
Morocco 
Oman 
Palestine
Qatar 
Saudi Arabia 
Syria
Tunisia 
UAE 
Yemen

Weather
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary


Financial Calculators

RSS Feeds [XML]

Corporate Monitor

Events

Real Estate
Submit Your Property

Arab Research
Buy a Research

Press Releases
Submit your PR

Join Newsletters


 
© 2014 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help