Kuwait: smoking ban in malls implemented – violators may expect fines


A smoking ban inside malls is now implemented in Kuwait. Smokers who violate this ban will be fined KD 50 to KD 100. This penalty will be applied to all smoking gadgets including electronic cigarettes. Store or restaurant owners inside malls will be fined KD 5,000 if they allow their customers to smoke in their facility.

Interestingly, Kuwait was one of the first countries to require by law a ban on smoking in public places (almost 20 years ago), and the Ministry of Health has also been active in the promotion of anti-tobacco policies. Last year the Ministry of Health finalized a draft amendment to the 1995 law that bans smoking in public places such as hospitals, markets and commercial complexes and begun running a national anti-smoking program. However, due to the lack of tobacco law enforcement, tobacco consumers and promoters were not deterred.

Nonetheless, Kuwait has begun to strengthen enforcement on the implementation of the WHO FCTC by instituting and increasing penalties and monitoring people who violate these laws. For example, the Ministry of Health proposed increased tax on tobacco products and has allocated environmental police in malls around Kuwait to monitor and enforce anti-tobacco laws.

In addition, on 15 August 2015, Kuwait`s General Traffic Department (GTD) considered enforcing a law that bans motorists from smoking inside their vehicles while driving. The objective behind this law is to decrease road accidents and smoking while driving is considered one of the major causes of accidents in Kuwait. It is estimated that a fine of KD 30 will be introduced to drivers who smoke simultaneously.    


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