Patrons of cafe joints in the country have criticized the decision of the ministries of Health and Commerce to ban smoking inside these establishments.
Speaking to the press, those who frequent cafes consider the decision an infringement on their freedom, especially since smokers have been visiting these places regularly for years. They raised doubts on the timing of issuing the decision, arguing that if the two ministries are keen on prohibiting smoking forever, then they should stop the import of cigarettes and other similar products rather than restraining people’s freedom.Mohammad Mustafa, an employee at a cafe in Khaitan, admitted he was surprised when he heard about the decision. He pointed out the income of cafes all over the world, not only in Kuwait, come mostly from those who use ‘shisha’ (waterpipe). He said if smoking is banned inside the cafes, nobody will visit these places, so the owners will have no choice but to close them.
Kuwait has officially banned ‘all forms of smoking’ at public places, including airports, seaports, universities, schools, ministries, libraries, hospitals and others. Smoking is also banned during seminars, cultural and social functions, sports events and so on.
But the Health Ministry discovered that the ban cannot be implemented in places like cafes, hotels and parks. And they have not taken steps to stop it. Recently as we moved around in Salmiya and the Gulf Road, we saw lot of people enjoying shesha.