Posted by , on Monday June 28 2010 06:16:03 Dubai: The Council of Ministers in Saudi Arabia has urged the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) to ban smoking at all airports and their facilities in the Kingdom. The council also advised GACA to impose a fine of 200 Saudi riyals on people who violate the new regulations.
The Cabinet meeting, chaired by Crown Prince Sultan, deputy premier and minister of defence and aviation, approved the recommendations of the 150-member Shoura Council. The Kingdom passed anti-smoking regulations in August 2003 but the number of smokers continues to grow among its population. There are six million smokers in the country and, according to a report, smoking-related diseases kill around 400 people in the Kingdom each month.
Saudi Arabia ranks fourth in the world in terms of cigarette consumption and 41st in terms of population. As many as 13 billion cigarettes are imported into the Kingdom every year. About 10 per cent of the Kingdom’s total smokers are women and 19.3 per cent are teenagers. Studies have shown that 13 to 15 per cent of young men and women live with smokers and are subjected to passive smoking.