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Saudi Arabia: Family Court Permits Divorce of a Couple Based on Husband’s Smoking Habit

(July 19, 2012) On July 16, 2012, in a landmark decision, the Family Court of Saudi Arabia approved a request for a divorce submitted by a Saudi woman because of her husband's smoking habit. In a complaint submitted to the Court, the wife stated that she was diagnosed with a lung ailment as a result of inhaling the second-hand smoke from her husband's cigarettes. The Court ordered the immediate separation of the couple.

The Court decided that the husband's smoking habit inflicted great harm on the marital relationship, and this constituted sufficient grounds for divorce. The Court also foresaw extreme difficulty for the wife in continuing to live with a husband who smokes, especially after she had been diagnosed with lung disease. (Saudi Court Allows the Divorce of a Couple Because of the Smoker Husband [in Arabic], AL RAI (July 16, 2012).)