No shisha: Saudi Arabia introduces ban for smoking in places of tourists gathering. Part 2
All restaurants and coffee shops who have infringed rules have to pay penalty in amount of 600 rial. Hookahs were confiscated. Abu Najm has promised that smoking control will be continued but raids for locations that offer hookahs, in spite of bans, only become tougher. "We don't set a goal to close one or another restaurant or coffee shop. Our goal is to put an end to smoking in public places. We take punitive measures and introduce penalties exact to direction of Ministry of Interior. If somebody doesn't like something, he is free to address to competent instance".
As well as other cities on territory of Saudi Arabia, Jeddah has warned owners of restaurant and coffee shops located in residential districts that they will be severely punished if will be detected that they break the law. As official statistics shows in the country live 6 million smokers among which 600 thousand are teenagers (mostly upperclassmen) and also 600 thousand women. But also expatriates make significant segment of cigar products' consumers. And this is regardless of numerous actions that explain smoking harm for health and also adoption of number of legislative acts that prohibit smoking and comments concerning harmful passive smoking.
Only in August, national football team has introduced heavy money penalties against several players that were noticed while smoking hookah in one of Abu Dhabi coffee shops where team participated in amicable tournament. Summer one of Saudi Arabia courts has decided that women that had to suffer of husbands who smoked in their presence have the right to file for divorce. In October judges have created one more precedent concerning deprivation of paternal rights in the case of smoking parent. "If mother or father smokes and it will be proved, court has the right to deprive them of paternal rights", - is said in official declaration of juridical authorities. "For the purposes of new initiative, smoking is equaled to alcohol drinking and may become decisive factor during child custody determination", - is told in the document. While hearing such cases, court will be inclined to non-smoking parents. On the contrary, smoking will be considered aggravating circumstances and court will follow child' interests trying to protect him against unfavorable effect of passive smoking.