A new proposed plan seeks to see all smoking in public banned in the UAE by the end of 2016.

Currently, smoking is prohibited inside shopping malls, public transport, government offices, restaurants, cafeterias and vehicles.

Shisha smoking is banned inside public parks, gardens and beaches.

The new rule would mean the removal of all smoking areas within malls, restaurants, workplaces and other public areas, with smokers only being permitted to smoke in private buildings and their own homes.

The current fine imposed upon those found smoking in non-designated areas, or vehicles with children younger than 12 years old is Dhs500.

Dr Wedad Al Maidour, head of the Tobacco Control Programme at the Ministry of Health and Prevention said at a mobile smoking cessation clinic for World No Tobacco Day that the UAE is marked as a ‘red zone’ with regards to taxation of tobacco products and prevention of smoking in public places.

Read: How To Quit Smoking

Al Maidour also mentioned how the UAE is being urged by the World Health Organisation’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control to change the law from having designated smoking areas to turning all public spaces into 100 per cent smoke-free zones, which would alleviate the UAE’s ‘red zone’ status.

The plan is going to be presented to the Prime Minister’s Office this year for a proposed implementation by the end of 2016.

Read: Health Scares In The UAE You Should Know About

Last year’s No Tobacco Day saw Al Maidour mention the UAE’s plans to push for plain packaging for tobacco products in 2016.

The plain packets would require the removal of all branding, including colours, imagery, corporate logos and trademarks.

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The gory pictures of smoking-related diseases which cover 50 per cent of the packet would be increased in size to 70 per cent, and cigarette brands would only be able to print their name in a mandated size, font and place on the packet.