Malaysia to ban smok­ing at eater­ies from next year

The New Paper - - NEWS -

KEDAH Malaysia will en­force a smok­ing ban on res­tau­rants, cof­fee shops and hawker stalls from Jan 1, Sin Chew Daily cited Deputy Health Min­is­ter Lee Boon Chye as say­ing yes­ter­day.

The ban will cover all air-con­di­tioned and non-air-con­di­tioned res­tau­rants, cof­fee shops, open-air hawker cen­tres and street stalls.

Dr Lee an­nounced the manda­tory ban while chair­ing a health fo­rum at the Asian In­sti­tute of Medicine, Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy in Kedah.

Those caught smok­ing at pro­hib­ited ar­eas will be fined RM10,000 (S$3,300) and eater­ies found not en­forc­ing the ban will be fined RM2,500.

The Star re­ported last month that the Health Min­istry is push­ing to gazette all open-air res­tau­rants as no-smok­ing ar­eas, ac­cord­ing to Dr Lee.

This is not only to en­cour­age smok­ers to kick the habit but also to pro­tect non-smok­ers from sec­ond-hand smoke.

“No doubt smok­ers will say they have the right to smoke, but non-smok­ers also have the right to have smoke-free ar­eas,” Dr Lee had said.

The Gopeng MP is also seek­ing his fel­low MPs’ sup­port to shut down the smok­ing room in Par­lia­ment this month.

He hopes the MPs who smoke will take the op­por­tu­nity to quit.

“This... is Malaysia’s com­mit­ment as a mem­ber state to the Frame­work Con­ven­tion on To­bacco Con­trol and ad­heres to the guide­lines un­der Ar­ti­cle 8 of the World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion,” he added.

The cur­rent law in Malaysia pro­hibits smok­ing in 21 ar­eas in­clud­ing hos­pi­tals, pub­lic toi­lets, lifts, gov­ern­ment premises as well as air-con­di­tioned shops and of­fices.

Oth­ers in­clude parks and gov­ern­ment premises.

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