Health

R&R Stops along Malaysian Highways to Have No Smoking Zones

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By the end of the year, all rest and recreation (R&R) stops along the highways in Malaysia will have “no-smoking” zones, with the coverage expanding to a radius of 3m around the covered areas of the facility. This would also include eateries and toilets.

The Global Adult Tobacco Survey 2011 showed that 23.1% or 4.7 million Malaysians were smokers. According to Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam, the ministry had set a target to lower the number of smokers in Malaysia by 16%.

The Minister also said that the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) would also ensure its sheltered walkways spanning 23km in the city centre will be smoke-free zones.

“The authorities will also be stepping up enforcement and monitoring these areas to deter people from smoking.

“I know that enforcement will be a challenge as it covers a large area but it will be done.

“It is only through strict enforcement that we can drive our message across,” he said, adding that offenders could be fined between RM250 and RM500.

Those who failed to pay their compounds would be brought to court and fined a maximum of RM10,000 or face up to two years in jail if found guilty.

The minister also said that the ministry wanted a 70% tax imposed on cigarettes to discourage the young from picking up the habit. The ministry have also beefed up enforcement against sales and procurement of illegal cigarettes in Malaysia.

Story and quote from: The Star

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