Jeddah: Sixteen smokers were nabbed at
Jeddah`s international airport early as Saudi Arabia
started to implement a smoking ban, an airport official said.
A 200-riyal (USD 53) fine has been set for violators
in the country`s 27 domestic and international terminals,
except in specially-designated smoking rooms, said Abdullah
Rahimi, head of the General Authority for Civil Aviation.
Rahimi told reporters he hoped the new measure would
"help protect the smoker`s health and reduce harm to others,"
while urging airport staff to set an example by not lighting
Saudi Arabia does not have a general smoking ban in
public places, and people smoke freely in government offices.
An official at Jeddah international airport, the main
entry point for the annual hajj pilgrimage to Mecca which
starts next week, said most of the first 16 people nabbed
after the ban came into effect at midnight were Saudis.
They were allowed to continue their journey without
paying the fines immediately but could be stopped on future
trips if they fail to pay up.