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Health Ministry begins inspection campaign on outlets serving argileh

By Ahmed Bani Mustafa - Jan 13,2018 - Last updated at Jan 13,2018

AMMAN — The Health Ministry has begun a campaign on licensed restaurants and cafes to ensure their commitment to the regulations of serving argileh (water pipe), an official said on Saturday.

Regulations released in April 2014, stipulate that facilities can either stop serving food to be allowed to continue serving argileh, or stop serving argileh and only serve food. Under a third option, cafés should designate two separate areas, one to serve food and the other to serve argileh, the official said.

The regulation also bans serving argileh to minors, Health Ministry Spokesperson Hatem Azrui told The Jordan Times. 

The government has granted a grace period to facilities, which were not able to meet the requirements, to rectify their status till December 31, 2017, Azrui said.

The campaigns have started as of January 1, 2018, and any violating restaurant or cafe will be subject to penalties that range between three to six months imprisonment and a fine of no less than JD3,000 and no more than JD6,000, under the Public Health Law 47/2008. The health minister has also the authority to close the facility, according to Azrui.

According to the law, smoking is prohibited in hospitals, healthcare centres, schools, cinemas, theatres, libraries, museums, public and non-governmental buildings, public transport vehicles, airports, closed playgrounds, lecture halls and any other location as determined by the health minister.   

 The campaign comes as part of Jordan’s endeavours to combat tobacco, said the official, adding that the Kingdom was one the first countries in the regions to join the World Health Organisation’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).

According to Feras Hawari, director of the cancer control office at the King Hussein Cancer Centre, a single session of argileh smoking can be as damaging to health as smoking between 3 and 10 packets of cigarettes.

 

Coal, used to heat the argileh, is “extremely toxic” and releases up to 100 parts per million carbon monoxide emissions, the physician told The Jordan Times in previous remarks, adding that such emissions could cause asphyxiation among smokers as well as affecting passive smokers.

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EXCELLENT AND IT LOOKS LIKE WE CAN NOW GIVE TEETH TO THE LAW THAT HAS ONLY BEEN EXISTING ON PAPERS. IT IS VERY GOOD TO SEE THE GOVERNMENT NOW PAYING ATTENTION TO PUBLIC HEALTH WHICH BENEFITS ALL. WE NEED THE ENFORCEMENT OF
PUBLIC HEALTH LAWS AND NOT CANCER ( CHEMOTHERAPY CLINICS. ).

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