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On February 2, 2012, the Iraqi Parliament passed a smokefree air law, to take effect 90 days after publication in the official gazette. The law provided for fines for violators and made government offices, schools, universities, hospitals, airports, offices, theatres, gathering places, hotels, restaurants, nightclubs, markets, and gas stations smokefree.

Smokefree News

Iraq parliament bans smoking in public
Times of India - February 2, 2012

BAGHDAD: The Iraqi parliament on Thursday approved an anti-smoking law that ... restaurants, nightclubs, markets and petrol stations will now be banned. ...

In Troubled Iraq, Smoking Is Now a Target
New York Times - Jack Healy, Yasir Ghazi - May 12, 2011

Iraq's parliament is set to consider a law that would ban smoking from many public places. By JACK HEALY BAGHDAD ­ In a country where the power blinks out several times a day, where filling up a gas tank can take hours and motorists stew in seemingly ...

Iraq cabinet approves smoking curbs plan
Agence France Presse (AFP) (fr), 2009-08-06

Iraq's cabinet has approved a draft of the war-torn country's first laws to restrict smoking and to halt cigarette advertising, the government said on Thursday.

The draft aims to bring to an end a laissez-faire attitude to cigarette smoking that endured through the totalitarian dictatorship of Saddam Hussein and years of fighting since the 2003 US-led invasion that overthrew him.

"The purpose behind approving the draft law to fight smoking is to protect the people from the social, health, environmental and economic risks of smoking," government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said in a statement.

"The draft law will ban smoking in public areas. Smoking will be prevented inside ministry buildings, educational institutions, health facilities, airports and companies in all provinces," Dabbagh said.

"Smoking will also be banned in theatres, clubs, meeting rooms, offices, and all private and public transport."

Iraq: Cabinet considers anti-smoking law
AP, 2009-08-06

The Iraqi Cabinet has approved a draft bill to ban smoking in public places, a government spokesman said Thursday. It's the first such bill in a country where lighting up is virtually a rite of passage for most young men.

The law aims to curb the number of people who start smoking and raise awareness about the dangers of cigarettes, spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said. For passage, the draft still needs approval in parliament, which is in recess until September. . . .

If passed, the Iraqi law would be one of the region's most comprehensive bans, similar to many laws in the U.S. and Europe.

The Iraqi law would make smoking illegal in public places, such as government buildings, schools, movie theaters and in public transportation. The media also would be banned from advertising cigarettes.

It also would ban the sale of cigarettes to anyone under the age of 18 and fine anyone who is caught selling with up to 5 million Dinars, or about $4,300.

Al-Dabbagh said the law also would require cigarette companies to put warning labels on packages. . . .

Cigarettes are so inexpensive in Iraq "that even a poor boy can buy them," Hussein also said. ...

Iraq proposes public smoking ban
BBC News - August 6, 2009

The Iraqi cabinet has agreed a draft law to restrict smoking in public places and ban tobacco advertising, a government spokesman has said. ...

Nicotine-Loving Iraqis Deride Smoking-Ban Plan
Residents Question Maliki's Priorities
The Washington Post, 2009-08-07
Ernesto Londoño Washington Post Foreign Service

This is a country of frazzled nerves and nicotine, where deals are struck and conspiracy theories hatched in the smokiest of rooms.

So why in the world, Iraqis demanded Thursday, would the government introduce a plan to ban smoking in public places?

Smoking is widespread in the region, and few countries have taken steps toward a ban. Jordan and Israel prohibit smoking in public places, and Qatar has a ban on indoor smoking in public places, though it is loosely enforced.

But a bill being presented to the Iraqi parliament by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's cabinet would rewrite rules in a way that many Iraqis who were interviewed described as inconceivable, by banning smoking in government buildings and public indoor areas.

"We have no electricity, no jobs, people still get killed," said Waleed Habba, 49, as he bought a pack of cigarettes at a tobacco store in downtown Baghdad. "We all have to deal with anger issues here. That's the reason people smoke here, to run away from that."

"We want Saddam back," said Ala al-Kanini, a patron at the store, referring to the late Iraqi leader. "You could do anything during Saddam's time." ...