Expatriates living in Qatar should pay attention to a recent call by health officials for residents to comply with the state’s smoking legislation.
Coming ahead of the World No Tobacco Day May 31st, the director of public health at the Supreme Council of Health, Dr Mohammed Al Thani, has warned that even passive smoking has health implications.
"Exposure to other people’s smoking (passive smoking) is also harmful to health and we urge members of the public to abide by the tobacco law of Qatar, which prohibits smoking in enclosed public places."
Qatar hopes to be able to educate more of its population to the dangers of smoking and Dr Thani warned that it is not just cigarette smoking that is outlawed.
"All kinds of tobacco including cigarettes, shisha (water-pipe), and suwaikah (smokeless tobacco) are harmful to health and increase the risk of diseases such as cancer," he said.
Expat smokers who previously left for foreign countries may have enjoyed less restrictive smoking policies, although most countries now understand the dangers associated with lighting up.
Smoking cessation clinics run in most UK towns and cities so would-be expats could even quit before they leave.