Quotes: MENA   Enter Symbol: NewsLetter: Search: advanced

Jordan hookah ban sparks public outcry  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - Arab News - 06/02/2014
No. of Ratings : 0
Add to Mixx!



(MENAFN -Arab News) 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 industry, jeopardizing 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.Amman 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 any 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.Prices 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 Center.“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 toward 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.”


 


Arab News




  MENA News Headlines
 Jul 28 2016 - UAE, China arrange for extensive mutual projectsMENAFN
(MENAFN) The UAE and China have created a united strategic investment fund worth a whopping USD10 billion as the 2nd largest economy chases its ambition to reestablish Silk Road trade routes.The ...

 Jul 28 2016 - Oman, Iran agree to invest jointly in mining industryMENAFN
(MENAFN) Oman and Iran have revealed recently great interest in cooperating as they have great potentials to further grow joint collaboration in the mining sector.In accordance, both nations intend ...

 Jul 28 2016 - Saudi sees robust retail construction boom in H1MENAFN
(MENAFN) Saudi Arabia has been seeing a retail building explosion even as oil, the kingdom's dominant source of revenue, severely plunges, based on reports.Overseas and local firms are betting ...

 Jul 28 2016 - Bahrain to apply crucial investments worth over USD30bMENAFN
(MENAFN) Bahrain has been recently applying a comprehensive well-studied program of structural economic and fiscal reforms to further strengthen its long-term development, according to the available ...

 Jul 28 2016 - The Lubricant Market in South Africa has been Expected to Reach USD 1.8 Billion by 2020: Ken ResearchMENAFN Press
(MENAFN Press) Ken Research announced its latest publication on "South Africa Lubricant Market Outlook to 2020 - Inclining Vehicle Sales and Growing Manufacturing and Mining Sector to Drive Future ...

 Jul 28 2016 - Kuwait offers aid to Rwanda without hesitationMENAFN
(MENAFN) A loan contract has been inked between the Republic of Rwanda and the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED), according to the released reports.The loan stands at USD15.3 million, ...

 Jul 28 2016 - Dubaiprint.com opens the 1st premium print lounge at Dubai Design District (d3)MENAFN Press
(MENAFN Press) Dubaiprint.com, competency of NDIGITEC and the first professionally integrated web-to-print with a customized unique platform for professional and personal users in the Middle East, ...

 Jul 28 2016 - Bahrain seeks massive cuts in spending to lift economyMENAFN
(MENAFN) Bahrain has approved a proposed strategy to reduce government expenditures by 30 percent and improve efficiency across all entities, based on recent reports.The proposed plan is in line with ...

 Jul 28 2016 - Kuwait- MoH announces work timings of all clinics during RamadanArab Times
(MENAFN - Arab Times) KUWAIT CITY, June 7: Director of Primary Health Department at Ministry of Health Dr Rehab Al-Watyan has declared the work timings of all clinics throughout Kuwait during the ...

 Jul 28 2016 - Kuwait- MP praises action on fake degreesArab Times
(MENAFN - Arab Times) KUWAIT CITY, July 24: MP Kamel Al-Awadhi praised the actions taken by Minister of Education Dr Bader Al-Essa against those who hold fake academic certificates as he not only ...

more...


 





Google

Easy Forex

 
 

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