Riyadh, Aug 8 IANS | 5 months ago

Smoking in sports stadiums across Saudi Arabia has been banned as part of an endeavour to motivate youngsters to quit the habit.

Smoking habit among people has been costing the country billions of riyals in terms of treatment for tobacco-related diseases, Arab News reported Friday.

The ban comes into effect in the new sports season and covers all sports competitions, said Prince Abdullah bin Musaed, head of the Presidency of the Youth Welfare. "The measure was taken to protect spectators from the harmful effects of smoking."

"We also want to create a healthy atmosphere for sports competitions in the country," the prince said. "We will soon announce the punishment for law violators," he added.

A study last year found that smokers inhale only 15 percent of the puffs they take, while the remaining 85 percent harms the health of passive smokers at stadiums.

(Posted on 08-08-2014)

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