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Gov’t outlines instructions for serving argileh in public places

By Maria Weldali - Jun 08,2021 - Last updated at Jun 08,2021

The government on Monday published in the Official Gazette its instructions regarding smoking and serving argileh (water pipe tobacco) in public places, stressing that smoking in all of its forms is banned in indoor spaces (File photo)

AMMAN — The government on Monday published in the Official Gazette its instructions regarding smoking and serving argileh (water pipe tobacco) in public places, stressing that smoking in all of its forms is banned in indoor spaces.

The instructions also prohibit designating separate indoor areas for smokers and non-smokers, obligating shops serving argileh to fulfill the following conditions:

— Assigning appropriate number of workers who need to be dressed in designated attire to reflect their professional identity, in addition to having to obtain a medical certificate. Their job is to prepare all types of tobacco products while wearing gloves, without being allowed to prepare meals.

— All types of tobacco advertising and promotion are prohibited.

— Shops that serve argileh are obligated to use disposable smoking hoses, change the water in a shisha base and sterilise it after each smoking session.

— Tobacco products that are served need to conform to standard specifications set by the Jordan Standards and Metrology Organisation.

— Warning labels that communicate the health risks of using tobacco products need to be put on all argilehs used by customers, whereas the Health Ministry is in charge of issuing the conditions relating to those signs and messages.

— Tobacco products need to be kept in their original packaging, provided that the packaging is well-closed and preserved at proper temperature.

— Artificial charcoal and charcoal that is fired up using lighter fluid or chemicals are banned.

— The use of “special shisha mixes” that are either prepared at the restaurant or coffee shop are not allowed.

— A fire extinguisher needs to be available where argileh is being prepared.

According to Health Ministry’s latest figures, tobacco consumption has claimed the lives of 9,027 Jordanians so far this year.

Smoking rates in Jordan are some of the highest in the world. More than eight out of 10 men smoke or regularly use nicotine products including e-cigarettes, according to a Health Ministry study carried out in collaboration with the World Heath Organisation.

Meanwhile, some argileh smokers expressed their excitement to return to their favourite restaurants and coffee shops. 

Sara Yunes, a young Jordanian told The Jordan Times on Tuesday that “argileh is an integral part of her outings with her friends”. 

Nour Ahmad who is a non-smoker, told The Jordan Times that she always avoids going to places serving argileh.

“I always try to convince my two older sisters to stop smoking argileh, as it poses health risks,” she said.

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