Malaysia eatery smoking ban has started, Latest World News - The New Paper

Malaysia eatery smoking ban has started

This article is more than 12 months old

PETALING JAYA : It is all systems go for the nationwide smoking ban at all eateries and restaurants in Malaysia, which started yesterday.

Malaysian Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad said enforcement officers would focus more on educating the public for now.

"These policies will take time to implement so we want to step up awareness first," he said.

He reiterated that for the first six months, Health Ministry officers would not issue fines but take note of repeat offenders.

"The state Health Departments will also be working with local councils to enforce the smoking ban," he said.

He also told eatery owners to advise those smoking in their premises to refrain from doing so.

"There has been a lot of attention on the campaign, and the response from the public has been overwhelming," he said.


Despite the detractors, most people were supportive of the ban as smoking would affect vulnerable groups such as young children and pregnant women, he said.

Dr Dzulkefly's deputy, Dr Lee Boon Chye, said the ministry's 5,008 health officers and assistant health officers would start to make their rounds.

"They will operate according to their schedules. We will maximise our rounds and the officers will be checking for compliance.

"However, we will issue compounds only to recalcitrant offenders. For the first six months, the emphasis will be on advising the public," he said yesterday.

To keep the momentum going throughout the year, the Deputy Health Minister said the most important thing would be to keep the enforcement and awareness campaign consistent.

Those caught smoking in prohibited areas will be fined up to RM10,000 (S$3,300) or face two years' jail while eateries found to have allowed customers to light up will be slapped with a maximum fine of RM2,500.

Smokers are permitted to light up 3m away from the establishments.- THE STAR