Ethiopian city bans smoking in public places

Addis Ababa – An Ethiopian city has banned smoking in public places with fines more than an average monthly wage, the first city in the country to do so, reports said on Tuesday.

The decision by the north eastern city of Mekele, capital of the Tigray region, makes smoking illegal in bars, restaurants, schools and hospitals, as well as outdoors in stadiums and during religious festivals.

Advertising tobacco is also banned, Ethiopian media reported.

Fines have been set at $50 for individuals and $150 for owners of bars or restaurants, a stiff punishment in a country where average monthly salaries are less than $40, according to the World Bank.

Ethiopia’s parliament last year voted to ban smoking in public places to combat tobacco-related diseases, but the law had not been enforced until now.

Nearly one in 10 young Ethiopians smoke, according to the World Health Organization.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s