Weak enforcement of the anti-smoking law .. “tobacco lobby” in the dock

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Twenty-eight years ago, Morocco adopted a law against smoking. It was the first country in the region to enact a legislative text of this kind, but this has not been completed. At the moment, this law does not apply properly and has no effect.

In conjunction with World No Tobacco Day, which falls on May 31 of each year, the question of the reasons for non-activation of this law is discussed. It has been without any applicable provisions since it was published in the Official Gazette in August 1995.

This law contains No. 15.91 and includes only 14 articles dealing with the prevention of smoking, advertising and advertising of tobacco in some public places of collective use, every public facility, public institution and administrative offices. It stipulates that every person who controls smoking in these facilities shall be fined from 10 dirhams to 50 dirhams .

The law prohibits tobacco advertising and advertising on radio, television and the press in Morocco, posters or stadiums. Tobacco companies are prohibited from advertising or distribution of gifts made of tobacco, whether for free or at low prices, indicating that every violation is punishable by a fine Ranging from 1000 to 3000 dirhams.

The law stipulates that the administration, in cooperation with non-governmental organizations, organize preventive and public information campaigns to sensitize citizens to the dangers of smoking. However, all the articles of this law did not specify what is meant by management.

In its last article, the law specifies the measures necessary to implement its provisions in a decree, but 24 years after its publication in the Official Gazette these measures did not see light, making the application of the law very limited and therefore not respected by smokers.

It is believed that tobacco companies play a major role in delaying the implementation of this law, and successive governments did not make the issue the center of their concerns, despite the warnings issued by the World Health Organization, and the figures of the Moroccan Ministry of Health itself that smoking causes 8 per cent of public deaths in The country.

The most blatant lack of respect for the law is the coffee shops, especially since the above-mentioned law did not place them in public places, although many see it as a more smoky space where the smoker imposes control and makes around him inhale his cigarette smoke.

A number of Moroccan parliamentarians have already begun to redress the weakness of the application of Law 15.91 by developing a new proposal that sets out an expanded list of closed public places. It explicitly stipulates that the law enforcement agencies should implement the law as soon as possible.

According to official figures, smoking in Morocco is one of the highest in the Middle East. The proportion of children educated between the ages of 13 and 15 is 10 per cent for males and 7 per cent for females.

In addition to the non-implementation of domestic law, Morocco has not ratified the Framework for the Control of Smoking, ratified by 180 countries. Morocco remains one of the few countries that has not taken a step in this regard, although this would have a positive impact on the fight against smoking. Of its negative effects on public health by strengthening the legal arsenal of this.

In contrast, tobacco consumption for the government is “healthy” for the budget, with the tobacco tax generated at 10 billion dirhams a year, a figure that is higher every year, which means an increase in the consumption of various types of tobacco promoted in Morocco.

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