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
 Aug 29 2015 - Abraaj exists Condor Travel stake to CarlyleMENAFN
(MENAFN) Dubai-based Abraaj Group has announced the signing of an agreement to exit its stake in Condor Travel to The Carlyle Group.The exit, through Abraaj's Latin American Fund, marks the first ...

 Aug 29 2015 - GCC construction contracts to drop to USD194b in 2015MENAFN
(MENAFN) Construction in the GCC will increase in value despite a slight dip in the overall contract awards this year caused in part by cheap oil, according to an industry expert.The man behind the ...

 Aug 29 2015 - Middle East business confidence continues to drop in Q2MENAFN
(MENAFN) Business confidence in the Middle East continued to fall in the second quarter of 2015, but not as quickly as it had in the first three months of the year, according to a new survey.The ...

 Aug 29 2015 - 9 hours battling death at sea off the Libyan coastThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Pakistani teenager Shefaz Hamza spent nine hours at sea clinging to the wreckage of a migrant boat that sank off Libya. By the time the coast guard arrived his mother and ...

 Aug 29 2015 - Qatar Exchange index jumps 3.08pcThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Qatar Exchange (QE) index finished in the green yesterday, after a sharp rise in all sectors. The market gained 3.08 percent or 337.84 points to reach 11,295.46. The market ...

 Aug 29 2015 - Arabs brace for weak oil for rest of 2015The Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) A second oil price rout of 2015 has forced Arab Opec members to cut their price expectations for this year, showing they are prepared to tolerate cheaper crude for longer to ...

 Aug 29 2015 - Lebanon- Hezbollah, Christian allies boycott cabinet meetingThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) The Lebanese Shia group Hezbollah and allied Christian politicians boycotted a cabinet meeting yesterday, a sign of rising political tensions that have paralysed Prime ...

 Aug 29 2015 - IS kills two generals in IraqThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) suicide attack claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group killed two Iraqi generals yesterday in the key battleground province of Anbar, as the militants made gains in ...

 Aug 29 2015 - Iraq- At least 11 Daesh Militants Killed in AnbarThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) 11 Daesh militants, some of them belonging to foreign nationalities, were killed in a pre-emptive attack against a hideout of the organization east of Ramadi city, in Anbar ...

 Aug 29 2015 - At least 78 dead in Libya refugee boat disasterThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) At least 76 people have died after a ship carrying hundreds of migrants and refugees sank off the coast of Libya, the Libyan Red Crescent said Friday. The United Nations ...

more...


 






Google

Click to Apply

 
 

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