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Smoking Ban at All Eateries Beginning Jan 1, 2019

After months of talk about banning smoking at eateries, including hawker stalls and mamaks, Malaysia’s Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye said the government will enforce a no-smoking policy nationwide, beginning next year.

According to Straits Times, Dr announced this while chairing a health forum at the Asian Institute of Medical, Science and Technology in Kedah, and further explained that the ban will cover all air-conditioned and non-air-conditioned restaurants, coffee shops, open-air hawker centres, and street stalls.

With the ban in place, those caught smoking at non-smoking areas will face a fine of RM10,000 and eateries that don’t enforce this ruling will be fined RM2,500.

Image credit: Free Malaysia Today

In early September, Lee was reported as wanting to push for all open-air restaurants as non-smoking areas, not only to encourage smokers to quit but also for the benefit of non-smokers who have to endure second-hand smoke.

Taking the initiative the extra mile, he also is looking to shut down the smoking room at Parliament, in hopes that his fellow MPs would also kick the habit.

“This gazettement 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 (WHO),” he was quoted as saying in The Star.

The current Control of Tobacco Product (Amendment) Regulations 2017 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.

Read more on the ban:
Asthma Malaysia all for smoking ban at open eateries
Health Ministry wants to make open-air eateries smoke-free
Group hails smoking ban at open-air eateries
Differing views on smoking ban
Smoking ban at open-air eateries will save lives, say medical associations

Do you think a smoking ban is a step in the right direction in this #MalaysiaBaru? Let us know what you think!

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