DOHA: Despite the recent public outcry in Qatar against a reported plan to ban smoking inside cars, the authorities are going ahead with preparations to end this practice or at least discourage it.
As a first step, the Traffic Department has launched a campaign to raise public awareness on this issue.
The campaign focuses on the danger of smoking inside the cars, especially when children are on board.
Quoting an official at the Department, Al Sharq reported that a study is underway on ways to stop this menace.
“It is very difficult to catch motorists smoking in the cars but there is a study in this regard,” said First Lieutenant Fahad Hilal bu Hindi.
He said the Traffic Department had started a new campaign urging motorists not to smoke inside the car when the children are on board. He said this awareness drive will be followed by another campaign that aims to stop this practice.
An expert at the Supreme Council of Health (SCH) recently disclosed that Qatar’s new anti-tobacco law will ban smoking inside cars and impose a fine on those violating this rule.
The announcement sparked an outcry with several citizens, including members of the Central Municipal Council (CMC) openly coming out against the proposal.
While rejecting a blanket ban on smoking in cars, many suggested to limit the ban to situations when women and children are on board, to protect them from the danger of passive smoking.
The Traffic Department apparently is focusing on this aspect, as part of efforts to promote safe driving and protect public health.
Bu Hindi also disclosed that road accidents in Qatar due to drunk driving and use of drugs is on the decline.
There is a new device to detect the presence of drugs in the blood that is mostly used in investigations into road accidents happening in the night, he added.
The comments came in connection with the International Day against Drug Abuse which is observed on June 26.
The Ministry of Interior held an exhibition at Landmark mall on Thursday as part of the International Day activities. This year’s theme is “our children are our responsibility”.
The Permanent Committee for Drugs and Alcohol Affairs at the Ministry also organised a symposium on the “role of medical staff in preventing and reducing the misuse of prescribed medication,” in association with Hamad Medical Corporation.