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MPs fail to OK draft law banning tobacco use

MPs fail to OK draft law banning tobacco use

Dec 28, 2013 - 18:12

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): The Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon -- lower house -- on Saturday failed to approve a draft law banning the use of tobacco due to differences among members.

The 25-article draft law, proscribing the use of cigarette, snuff and hubble-bubble (hookah) was presented by the government to the assembly a month ago.

Wolesi Jirga Healthinfo-icon Commission head Dr Naqibullah Faiq placed the proposed law before the house, saying the aim was to control the use of tobacco, particularly cigarette.

Enforcement of the law is important to prevent the increasing use of tobacco, to which some children are also addicted. It says the people are allowed to use hookahs, but users should not cause problems to others.

Under the measure, hookah could not be used in clubs, in public transport, offices, educational institutes and crowded areas, Faiq said, explaining that the draft law also banned advertisements of tobacco products.

Public representative from northern Kunduz province Abdul Wadood Paiman said: “Every intoxicant is prohibited in Islam, including snuff and cigarette, asking: Is our government based on Sharia?”

Lawmaker from Wardak province Ghulam Hussain Nasiri also criticised legislative measure and said: “We cannot approve a law that is against our constitution.” He said there were technical problems with some parts of the draft that should be reviewed before its approval.

“We cannot ban the import of tobacco products immediately, because such a move will damage traders and tobacco users,” said another legislator from Paktia province, Gul Pacha Majidi.

Deputy Speaker Mirwais Yasini, who chaired the session, said the issue should be discussed by heads of 18 house commissions. He asked the panel to prepare a new draft in light of the views of ulemainfo-icon, doctors and scientists.


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