Kuwait issued Monday a blanket ban on smoking in public places including hotels, restaurants and cafes.

Commerce and Industry Minister Amani Buresli ordered the ban upon recommendations from Health Ministry.

Minister Buresli said the ban covers all forms of smoking including water pipe.

The minister asked restaurants, cafes and entertainment places to allocate well-isolated places for smokers.

Inspectors will monitor all public places to ensure full respect for the new rules, Buresli said.

She also warned that the ministry will take puntive and legal actions against violators of the ban.

The Ministry of Health also banned smoking in shopping malls, schools, universities, hospitals, airports, government offices, sports clubs, libraries, recreational places and other public places.

The two ministries urged all Kuwaiti citizens and foreign residents to help enforce the ban that aims to protect public health.