Smoking ban should only be the first step

When implemented, the UAE's smoking ban will be a boon to public health. Smoking has severe and demonstrable effects on a person's health, and so-called "second-hand smoke" in most studies has been shown to adversely impact the health of those in a smoker's presence. The new law benefits both the smokers, by encouraging them to quit, and the passive inhaler, by reducing their exposure. Of particular merit are those measures designed to protect children. The restrictions placed on the sale of tobacco to children and the ban on smoking in vehicles containing children under 12 are welcome. These are the sorts of efforts that will make a real impact on the level of smoking in the UAE. Smoking is addictive, therefore the best way to stop people from smoking is to prevent them from starting.
By that same line of reasoning, the ban on smoking in public places and the restrictions placed on the location of shisha cafes will have only a limited impact on current smokers. People addicted to nicotine almost always will seek out venues to satiate their cravings. Whether this means stepping outside during a meal or travelling out of your way for a shisha fix, these regulations will inconvenience, but not discourage, the addicted.
Encouraging an addict to quit requires more drastic measures, such as raising the price of tobacco products. The current price of a pack of cigarettes is far too cheap if the goal is to get the Emirates off nicotine. At Dh7, cigarettes are well within the reach of most budgets. Doubling and even tripling the price of a pack is not enough. To encourage smokers to quit, cigarettes must become at least more expensive than a fast-food meal. In the UK and in many cities in the US, a pack of cigarettes costs around Dh40. This exorbitant pricing has done more to help smokers kick the habit than any prohibitions on public smoking.
There will always be limits on the ability of government to shape personal choice. What the authorities can do is limit the negative impact on others of the poor choices that adults make for themselves. The current measures, laudable though they are, can only be the first steps. Making smoking an oppressively expensive habit should be considered along with the Government's proposed smoking ban.

5 of the most-popular Airbnb locations in Dubai

Bobby Grudziecki, chief operating officer of Frank Porter, identifies the five most popular areas in Dubai for those looking to make the most out of their properties and the rates owners can secure:

• Dubai Marina

The Marina and Jumeirah Beach Residence are popular locations, says Mr Grudziecki, due to their closeness to the beach, restaurants and hotels.

Frank Porter’s average Airbnb rent:
One bedroom: Dh482 to Dh739 
Two bedroom: Dh627 to Dh960 
Three bedroom: Dh721 to Dh1,104

• Downtown

Within walking distance of the Dubai Mall, Burj Khalifa and the famous fountains, this location combines business and leisure.  “Sure it’s for tourists,” says Mr Grudziecki. “Though Downtown [still caters to business people] because it’s close to Dubai International Financial Centre."

Frank Porter’s average Airbnb rent:
One bedroom: Dh497 to Dh772
Two bedroom: Dh646 to Dh1,003
Three bedroom: Dh743 to Dh1,154

• City Walk

The rising star of the Dubai property market, this area is lined with pristine sidewalks, boutiques and cafes and close to the new entertainment venue Coca Cola Arena.  “Downtown and Marina are pretty much the same prices,” Mr Grudziecki says, “but City Walk is higher.”

Frank Porter’s average Airbnb rent:
One bedroom: Dh524 to Dh809 
Two bedroom: Dh682 to Dh1,052 
Three bedroom: Dh784 to Dh1,210 

• Jumeirah Lake Towers

Dubai Marina’s little brother JLT resides on the other side of Sheikh Zayed road but is still close enough to beachside outlets and attractions. The big selling point for Airbnb renters, however, is that “it’s cheaper than Dubai Marina”, Mr Grudziecki says.

Frank Porter’s average Airbnb rent:
One bedroom: Dh422 to Dh629 
Two bedroom: Dh549 to Dh818 
Three bedroom: Dh631 to Dh941

• Palm Jumeirah

Palm Jumeirah's proximity to luxury resorts is attractive, especially for big families, says Mr Grudziecki, as Airbnb renters can secure competitive rates on one of the world’s most famous tourist destinations.

Frank Porter’s average Airbnb rent:
One bedroom: Dh503 to Dh770 
Two bedroom: Dh654 to Dh1,002 
Three bedroom: Dh752 to Dh1,152 

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