60,000 children Syrian children sign 200-metre anti-smoking banner

Arab World Materials 30 March 2010 15:34 (UTC +04:00)

Some 60,000 children in northern Syria have signed a 200-metre-long banner encouraging people to quit smoking, Damascus' official al-Thawra newspaper reported Tuesday.

The banner, created in the northern province of Idlib, also featured comments from the children and their parents highlighting the negative economic and personal effects of smoking on families and society, the newspaper said, DPA reported.

The banner is part of an anti-smoking campaign organized by the "vanguards" of the ruling Baath Party to highlight the consequences of smoking on health, the economy and the environment.

A law banning smoking in public places and prohibiting advertising of all tobacco products is scheduled to take effect in May.

Violations of the new law, which also applies to the smoking of water pipes, will be punishable with fines up to 5,000 Syrian pounds (100 dollars).