The Steering Committee has said that the petition to improve and implement the Tobacco Control Act banning smoking in public places will be open for signatures till November 30.
Speaking to VNews on Friday evening, member of the steering committee Aafiya Abdul Azeez said that 47 organisations participated in the first phase of the project, and that 80 organisations had taken part by the end of the activities held on Friday.
The petition for the "Aharen Dhekolhu" campaign was inaugurated in Henveiru carnival by Bar Council Member Al Usthaz Mohamed Faisal.
Aafiya stated that the event, which was propagated by civil society organisations in the Maldives, was successful and that they had received many signatures on Friday alone. Some organisations had gathered 100 or more signatures. She said that each organisation will present the first 500 signatures received to the steering committee, but the petition will still be open for signing.
Various types of events will be organised for petition signing till November 30. Aafiya revealed that there are more road events planned for the near future as well.
Although the petition is not available to be signed online yet, she expects the medium to be made available after discussions with the organisations partaking in the movement. She also said that they are working to arrange the means to sign the petition in atolls, as the work is currently being done only in Male' City.
There has been complaints from the public due to the poor implementation of the Tobacco Control Act that prohibits smoking in public areas.
Once the regulation, published in 2013, will be implemented on November 1, smoking in a private no-smoking zone will result in a fine of MVR 1000 to the owner of the place, and smoking in a public no-smoking zone will result in a fine of MVR 500 to the offender.