Tobacco-free zones are to be implemented from January 1, 2013, after the Subordinate Regulations Committee of the People’s Majlis decided not to delay their introduction, local media has reported.
Entitled “Regulation of Determining Tobacco-Free Zones”, the regulation aims at inhibiting the consumption of tobacco products by prohibiting smoking in certain public areas.
Traders’ associations and MP for Nolhivaram Constituency Mohammed Nasheed proposed to delay the starting date of the Regulation for one year, according to local newspaper Haveeru.
Opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MPs were reported to have supported the proposal to delay the starting date, claiming there to be “a lot of issues” with the regulation.
After considering the matter, the Subordinate Regulations Committee made a final decision on a narrowly-approved vote.
Under the new regulation, smoking or similar consumption of tobacco will be prohibited within the following places; tea shops, cafes and restaurants, parks, government office premises, office premises of companies with government shareholding, office premises of independent state institutions, public places where people usually gather in numbers, old age homes, homes for those who need special care, and rehabilitation centres.
However, under special permission from the Ministry of Health, cafes and restaurants can define a special area where people can smoke.