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Bahrain: Stricter Penalties Sought For Alternative Smoking Products

The government has proposed significantly tightening the penalties associated with the importation, distribution, or sale of herbal or non-herbal materials intended as alternatives to tobacco smoking. The envisaged sanctions include imprisonment for up to one year and a fine of up to BD100,000.

This proposal, now referred to the Council of Representatives for deliberation, seeks to amend Article 20 of Law No. 8 of 2009, which addresses smoking and tobacco use within the kingdom. The draft legislation aims to address the burgeoning use of herbal and non-tobacco substances as smoking alternatives, intending to mitigate the attendant health and environmental risks. This necessitates strengthening the penalties outlined in the existing law.

Articles

The draft law comprises two articles. The first article proposes substituting the current text of Article 20, focusing on penalties for contravening Article 11.

This article prohibits the importation, distribution, or sale of any herbal or non-herbal materials used as alternatives to tobacco smoking, irrespective of their nicotine content.

The revised penalty for breaching Article 11 includes imprisonment for up to one year and a fine ranging BD1,000 to BD100,000, a substantial increase from the previous fine, which ranged from BD1,000 to BD3,000.

Closure

Moreover, the court is empowered to order the closure of any offending establishment for up to three months or mandate the confiscation of the materials in question.

The primary intent of these changes is to impose stricter regulation on alternative smoking products and thereby deter their use, ultimately safeguarding public health and the environment within the Kingdom.

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News Of Bahrain

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