Saudi Arabia extends smoking ban to tourist locationsSaudi Arabia has imposed a ban on smoking at all tourist facilities including hotels, travel agencies and areas where tourist-related activities are held.

According to local media, the General Commission for Tourism and Antiquities of Saudi Arabia instituted this past weekend a ban on smoking at all tourism facilities.

Hotels, travel agencies and indoor areas where tourist events take place are the target of the ban.

The ban is an extension of the initiative by the interior ministry in July 2012 to eliminate smoking in all enclosed public areas.

Government buildings, public establishments, cafés, restaurants, and shopping malls are subject to the ban, which also includes smoking of water pipes (or shishas) in public spaces. Last month officials in the Red Sea resort of Jeddah shut down 242 restaurants and cafés for 24 hours for violations.

According to official figures, Saudi Arabia, whose population is around 27 million, counts about six million smokers, including 800,000 teenagers.