HPA fines 44 establishments for violating tobacco regulation

Health Protection Agency (HPA) has fined 44 establishments this year for violating the Regulation for Designating Tobacco Consumption Prohibited Places, under the Tobacco Control Act.

An official from HPA told Sun today that the agency has fined a total of 54 establishments since the regulation came into force last year.

Establishments that fail to display no smoking signs are fined MVR 500 for the first offence and subsequent offenders are subjected to a MVR 5000 fine. Similarly, the regulation levies a fine of MVR 500 to persons smoking in no-smoking zones.

Hassan Mohamed, Deputy Director of HPA said that the agency faces many challenges, including the failure of designated agencies to implement the regulation, often due to limited resources. HPA plans to increase cooperation with non-governmental organizations to better enforce the regulation, he said.