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MoHAP introduces guide for creating tobacco-free workplaces in UAE

MoHAP introduces guide for creating tobacco-free workplaces in UAE
10 June 2024 20:44

ABU DHABI (ALETIHAD)

The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) has urged companies with “tobacco-free” policies to enforce disciplinary measures against employees who break anti-smoking policies.

MoHAP has introduced a guide for tobacco-free workplaces in their continuous campaign against smoking, aiming to safeguard public health, and enhance work environment. 

The guide, created by the Ministry's National Tobacco Control Programme, provides a detailed overview of the steps taken to establish a smoke-free environment in the workplace. 

The guide describes the harmful impacts of smoking on personal health and the environment, as well as the advantages of quitting. Moreover, the manual offers practical guidance for supervisors and staff members on creating a smoke-free workspace, specifying protocols for addressing infractions, and giving support for employees looking to quit tobacco use.

As per MoHAP, the individual who smokes should be informed about the company's policy on a tobacco-free workplace and given a written notification. 

MoHAP stated that a record with the name of the violator and details of the incident location, time, and outcomes must exist.

According to the guide, a facility that is 'tobacco-free' does not allow any form of tobacco use. Smoking is prohibited at both government and private establishments, with no exceptions for outdoor spaces or parking areas on the premises.

The UAE has laws that prohibit smoking in indoor public areas. The guide also bans the use of tobacco in governmental, health, educational institutions, public transport, and other public places. 

In a statement published on MoHAP’s official website, Dr. Hussain Abdul Rahman Al Rand, Assistant Undersecretary for the Public Health Sector, mentioned that this guide will serve as a crucial resource and tool to help government and private organisations in creating a tobacco-free work environment. 

It is consistent with the UAE's dedication to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) ratified in 2005, which aims to enforce measures protecting against tobacco smoke exposure in workplaces, public transportation, and public areas.

“The Tobacco-Free Workplace Guide from MoHAP will serve as an important resource and tool to help government and private organisations create a tobacco-free work environment. It aligns with the UAE's pledge to the WHO FCTC, agreed upon in 2005, with the objective of enforcing protective measures against tobacco smoke in workplaces, public transportation, and public places,” Al Rand said.

Dr. Al Rand highlighted the wide range of efforts made by MoHAP to address “tobacco use, including monitoring consumption and shielding the community from secondhand smoke”. 

“These efforts include offering support to quit smoking, raising awareness about the dangers of tobacco, and implementing restrictions on tobacco promotion. He also emphasised the Ministry's backing of the government's choice to introduce an excise tax on tobacco goods that started in 2019,” he added in the statement.

The UAE is recognised as a top country in tobacco regulation, with the implementation of Federal Law No. 15 of 2009 on Combating Tobacco and detailed executive regulations for all tobacco activities. 

The goal of these rules is to prevent smoking in indoor public areas and forbid the use of tobacco in a variety of public places such as government buildings, healthcare facilities, schools, and public transportation.

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