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Be Prepared to Pay Up to Dh1million in Fine if You Violate UAE Tobacco Control Law

Understanding Federal Law No. 15 of 2009 on Tobacco Control in the UAE

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Pavitra Shetty

Published on April 8, 2024, 12:35:16


tobacco, fine, tobacco products

Federal Law No. 15 of 2009, also known as the Tobacco Control Law, is a significant legislation enacted in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to regulate the production, sale, advertisement and use of tobacco and tobacco products.

The law aims to protect public health by reducing tobacco consumption, preventing underage smoking, and mitigating the harmful effects of second-hand smoke. So let's delve into some frequently asked questions about this law and its implications.

FAQs Related to Federal Law No. 15 of 2009:

Is smoking prohibited by law in the UAE?

Federal Law No. 15 of 2009 on Tobacco Control sets forth stringent regulations governing the importation, sale, advertising, and use of tobacco and tobacco products to uphold public health standards.

As per the law, smoking is strictly prohibited in enclosed public areas. However, exceptions are made for religious areas, educational institutions, and health and sports facilities, where designated smoking areas may be established under the supervision of the Competent Authority, per the regulations outlined in the law.

What are the Key Provisions of UAE Federal Law No. 15 of 2009 Tobacco Control?

The law prohibits various activities related to tobacco, including importing tobacco products that do not meet UAE standards, advertising or promoting tobacco products, selling tobacco products to individuals under 18 years old, and smoking in public areas and enclosed spaces.

Additionally, it regulates the packaging of tobacco products and mandates the display and sale of tobacco products only in designated areas.

Is Chewing Tobacco Legal in the UAE?

Chewing tobacco, like other forms of tobacco, is regulated by UAE laws and regulations. Federal Law No. 15 of 2009 encompasses all forms of tobacco and tobacco products, imposing restrictions to protect public health.

Is Smoking While Driving Allowed in the UAE?

Smoking while driving a private car containing a child under the age of 12 years is prohibited under Federal Law No. 15 of 2009 on Tobacco Control. The law aims to prevent exposure to second-hand smoke and promote safer environments, especially for children.

Are there Designated Smoking Areas in the UAE?

Yes, designated smoking areas are established in certain public places, subject to the regulations outlined in Federal Law No. 15 of 2009 and its executive regulations. However, smoking is prohibited in enclosed public areas, educational institutions, healthcare facilities and places of worship.

What are the Penalties for Violating Specific Articles of Federal Law No. 15 of 2009?

Article 13 states that violating the rules dealing with the importation, advertising, sale and use of tobacco and tobacco products can result in imprisonment for not less than one year and a fine ranging from Dh100,000 to Dh1,000,000. Repeat offenders may face imprisonment for not less than two years and a fine of not less than Dh1,000,000.

What Penalties Apply to Violations of Articles (3) and (4) of Federal Law No. 15 of 2009?

According to Article 14), individuals who violate the rules dealing with advertising campaigns, promotional events, sponsorship agreements, or any other means aimed at encouraging the use of tobacco may be fined between Dh100,000 and Dh1,000,000. The penalty may be doubled for repeat offenses.

What is the Penalty for Non-compliance with the Orders of the Competent Authority as per Article (15)?

Article 15 states that failure to comply with the orders of the Competent Authority may result in a fine ranging from Dh50,000 to Dh200,000. Repeat offenders may face imprisonment for up to one year and a fine of not less than Dh200,000.

What are the Consequences of other Contraventions of Federal Law No. 15 of 2009?

Any other contravention of the law may result in an immediate fine of Dh500 for reconciliation. If reconciliation is not possible, the incident will be referred to the criminal court, and the penalty may range from Dh3,000 to Dh10,000. Multiple contraventions will lead to multiple penalties.

Federal Law No. 15 of 2009 plays a crucial role in regulating tobacco use and promoting public health in the UAE. By enforcing strict regulations on the production, sale, advertising and use of tobacco products, the law aims to reduce tobacco consumption and mitigate the adverse health effects associated with smoking.

Understanding and adhering to these regulations, which include significant fines and penalties for violations, are essential for individuals and businesses to ensure compliance and contribute to a healthier society in the UAE.

(The writer is a legal associate at Dubai-based NYK Law Firm)

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