Government bans smoking in public places

The government has published new regulations to control tobacco, banning smoking inside all government buildings, private restaurants, cafes, teashops and social spaces.

The regulation prohibits smoking at Rehabilitation Centres, children’s parks and places frequently visited by children, aboard ferries and ferry terminals and at any place where people have to wait in a queue to obtain services.

According to the new regulation places such as cafes and restaurants that want to have smoking allowed will have to apply for permission from the Ministry of Health. The permission will be granted to places determined by the Ministry.

Any person who smokes in an area determined to be non-smoking can be fined to MVR 500 (US$32) and the owner of a place that allows smoking in such places without authority can be fined MVR 1000 (US$64) according to the regulation.

The regulation states that if the owner of the premises has not put up the sign board to inform that smoking inside the place is disallowed, the ministry has the authority to fine the venue MVR 500 first time and MVR 5000 (US$3200) on further occasions.

The Centre for Community Health and Disease Control (CCHDC) estimates that the 44 percent of the total population use tobacco, mainly by smoking.

According to the Maldives Demography and Health Survey (MDHS) 2009, 42 percent of people in the age group 20-24 are smokers while 20 percent of 15-19 years age group smoke.

Customs data shows that in 2010 alone 346 million cigarettes were imported into the Maldives at a cost of MVR 124 million (US$8 million) – a disproportionate figure considering the 350,000 populace. In 2009, MVR 110 million was spent to import 348 million cigarettes – mostly included well-known brands such as Marlborough, Camel, and Mild Seven.

The first President of the Maldives Ameen Didi, who assumed office in 1953, banned tobacco in the Maldives. However, people were outraged over this decision and a group of rebellious citizens overthrew his government and lynched Didi in the street.


18 thoughts on “Government bans smoking in public places”

  1. The Tyrant Waheed and his cronies are slowly eradicating all civil liberties. No smoking in public areas? What has this country come to.

    I weep for Maldives. People should be free to smoke wherever they wish, whether it be in parks or hospitals because that's what a democracy is all about ... Civil Liberties and Human Rights.

    What's next? a ban on junk food?

  2. This is bad.

    This indicates that some people actually are thinking for the good of the country. In a place where arrogance and ranting wins votes, in a place where hypocrisy is the dominant and revered trait, this must be an inadvertent move. A black sheep.

    'Destruction from within', was last years catch phrase. 'Cripple the Nation' is the ongoing one for this year. Go go go go!!

  3. This not at all about tobacco or smoking.
    This is all about earning Rufiya!
    Nearly 10 billion already spent.
    Earnings have been only 7 billion!
    Alas! We are already paying GST, and it appear there will be 1 policeman for each citizen, counting how many times each citizen blink, and collect tax for each blink!

  4. @ Dr. Jimmy Russels on Tue, 9th Oct 2012 7:29 PM

    What about the civil liberties and Human Rights of the people who have to breath in the foul stench smokers exhale.

    Maldives welcome to the rest of civilised society where smoking bans have been in place for a few years now.

    Plain and simple the money paid out to treat smoking related illness vastly dwarfs the amount governments receive in tax. Therefore the revenue doesn't cover the health bill for treating cancer suffers.

  5. Gudu Guda also should be banned. It spreads a very very dirty and unpleasant smell that of a leaking public toilet in the entire area.

  6. Political or otherwise, the new law on smoking is acceptable and long overdue.

    If you are a Maldivian living in Male and fortunate to have visited Colombo, major Indian cities, and most S.E Asian countries, recently, you would be ashamed to talk about Maldives in terms of smoking and hygiene.

    We,smokers, are so much left behind, smoking without sense and stinking like garbage whilst digging our graves at the cost of who? non-smokers, children and the sick! Just imagine chain smoking husband with a non smoking wife..who suffers most?

    Health comes first.

    How about some new laws on jobs? Why should foreigners be allowed to take all most basic jobs..draining the countries foreign reserves! Maldives is the only country where Bangladesh run and manage entire business while the Maldivian watches hindi movies at home!

  7. @DR. Jimmy Russels. You must be a doctor of BS to say that smokers have rights over and above those of a non-smoker population.

  8. At least Maldivians will be healthier Islamic fundamentalists in the future.

  9. @Dr.Jimmy Retard, I am surprised and shocked to hear ur comment. Open ur eyes dude even the country next to us India the biggest democracy and home of more than a Billion citizens, banned smoking in public places on 2 October 2008.

  10. been waiting for this. i smoke, but i can understand how disgusting it is for a non-smoker to inhale the smoke while on public places because of other smokers.. hope people are educated enough to know that and respect these kind of laws..

  11. The streets of Male on rush hour is full of smoke from the exhausts of mobikes and vehicles. But this is Halaal smoke and our children can inhale the holy petroleum smoke with the government blessings.

  12. @ Ann

    You telling India the biggest democracy????

    Its not a democracy, ask any Indian... its a quasi dictatorship of Ghandi family.

    There is no democracy in south asia...the people here like servitude. sell their vote and worships their dictators. because of this desease there can never be democracy in South Asia

  13. Smoking ban - finally. Like the rest of the civilized world.

    Now get rid of plastic bottles and bags and collect garbage instead of throwing it all over the place. Like the rest of the civilized world.

  14. @ Dr.Jimmy Russels:
    You are living proof that backwardness and ingnorance still exist on this earth.

    All democratic countries in the world has anti-smoking laws. You also seems to be unaware of inalienable rights, including very basic rights, right to health, healthy living environs...the principles of primacy of public health over other interests, santity of life...etc
    get an education pls

  15. Well done a timely action. Next should bring restrictions on selling tobacco to people under 18 or 21.


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