During the World Cup in Qatar, British tourists have been urged not to break any of the country’s laws. One slightly odder rule has also been warned against for football fans. Brits traveling to Qatar for the World Cup will need to abide by local laws while there. Football enthusiasts may be surprised by some of the rules.
Fans have been informed that vaping is prohibited in Qatar and that doing so could result in a large fine. Since 2014, vaping has been prohibited, and visitors who are found smoking an e-cigarette might spend three months in jail. Even if they are not sentenced to prison, fans risk being hit with a sizable fine of 10,000 riyals (£2,200). In Qatar, smoking is less common than in the UK, but shisha use is much more common, according to WHO data.
According to Dan Marchant, director of the Vape Club, “If vaping is prohibited in the country you’re traveling to, it’s best to avoid risking a fine, or worse. We hear of differing views regarding vaping in locations where it has been banned.
“Football supporters traveling to Qatar for the World Cup should exercise extra caution because the penalties there are exceptionally harsh.
“We tend to forget that there are many other nations across the world who are so far behind us because the UK has such a progressive attitude toward harm reduction and recognizes the significant role vaping has to play in attaining a smoke-free future.
“I don’t understand how any nation could prohibit vaping over cigarette smoking; it seems wholly contrary to science and anti-public health.
“I simply hope that smokers who have given up won’t start smoking again in Qatar. This poses a serious risk. “Being denied access to their vapes as a source of nicotine to replace a dangerous tobacco product while in Qatar might easily cause people to turn back to cigarettes. Once this occurs, the smoker may be forced to relapse into smoking for months or years before being able to successfully quit again.
Some former smokers now use vaping as a substitute for cigarettes, even though some people do it without ever having smoked. This week, after Qatar declared that alcohol will be prohibited in stadiums, several supporters became furious. In some sections of Qatar, alcohol is permitted, but consumption is carefully regulated, so supporters must abide by the laws. There is a shop where non-Muslim residents can buy alcohol, and drinking is permitted in hotels.
Alcohol imports from abroad will not be permitted, and violators risk deportation or monetary penalties. Although alcohol will no longer be permitted inside stadiums, there will still be specific areas where supporters can consume alcohol. For any fans who are deemed to have gone overboard, sobering-up zones may also be available. In Qatar, it is illegal to consume alcohol outside of authorized fan zones on the street or in public places. Due to a paucity of accommodations in Qatar, many supporters are spending the tournament on cruise ships or traveling abroad.