It looks like fewer people will be fined for lighting up in public places across Qatar this year, according to figures released by the Supreme Council of Health.
Between Jan. 1 and mid-November 2012, some 829 people have been ticketed for flouting Qatar’s smoking ban in malls and other indoor spaces. That’s less than half of the 1,690 violations recorded in 2010, when the SCH first kicked off its campaign.
Figures for last year were not immediately available.
The number of raids conducted this year was also down: 1,330 inspections were conducted between January and mid-November of this year, compared to 2,362 raids in 2010.
It is unclear whether the number of people fined has decreased because there are fewer inspections, or because fewer people are flouting the rules.
Thus far into 2012, the SCH has collected some QR319,000 in fines after issuing violations in popular malls, government offices and educational institutions.
The Public Health Department’s anti-smoking group has announced plans to intensify inspection efforts as Qatar awaits a new anti-tobacco law that would tighten current smoking restrictions.
That includes banning sheesha outlets in residential areas and near educational facilities.
Credit: Photo by Dale Moore