Saturday, June 02, 2007

Smoking 'ban' ain't gonna work...

They're backing off already.

Here's what Gulf News reports today:

"Dubai shopping malls will be responsible for regulating and enforcing anti-smoking regulations within their premises, under terms of an agreement signed between Dubai Municipality and a group representing shopping malls.

Hussain Nasser Lootah, Director-General of Dubai Municipality, said that under the terms of the understanding, the onus of enforcement would not be on the municipality but on the mall management.

"There will be no fines. Malls will be self-regulating," he said, adding that mall employees would have to tell smoking patrons to stub out and direct them to designated smoking areas."

A month ago when the 'ban' was announced I asked:

"The proof will be in the enforcement, something that Dubai is not very good at. How and by whom they will be enforced is another question.
Will 'security' personnel in various buildings such as malls and cinemas be trained in how to approach smoking-ban violators? How to deal with refusals to 'stub out'? How to deal with being ignored, or abused? And then what? Will they call the police? Can they detain the smoker until the police arrive?
Who will have the power to issue fines? Will they be on-the-spot fines? How will the fines be enforced?
There are more questions than answers at the moment."

Well now we have the answers. Yes, the security people in malls will be responsible. Yes they'll be ignored. No there won't be any fines. Yes the whole exercise was a complete waste of time.

Gulf News story is here.

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