A ban on smoking at public gatherings has been announced by the mayor of Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, according to local media reports on Wednesday.
The new law makes smoking illegal in bars, cafés, restaurants, schools, hospitals and stadiums as well as cultural and religious events, but smoking on the streets is still permitted. Tobacco advertising is also banned, according to the state-controlled Fana Radio.
Officials say tobacco is a major cause of death in the world and the public has to get involved in efforts to discourage smoking.
Ethiopia had passed an anti-tobacco law in 2014 which is only being implemented in one town in the north east of the country.
“It is very difficult to enforce such kinds of regulations especially in a country like ours, the government doesn’t have the capacity to enforce this in all places; in every school, hospital, and bar,” another resident said.
Statistics from the WHO indicate that about 0.5 percent of Ethiopian women smoke while the rate among men stands at 8.9 percent.
Offenders of the law will have to pay a fine of 92 dollars which will go higher for those who send children to buy cigarettes for them.