Smoking ban: Public, private learning institutions next?

Last update: 08/01/2019

PUTRAJAYA, Jan 8 (Bernama) -- The Health Ministry is considering extending the smoking ban at learning institutions such as public and private schools and universities this year, said Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah. 

He said  this was in accordance with the Health Ministry's focus to protect non-smokers’ rights as they represent about 80 per cent of the public. 

"The Health Ministry's agenda is to focus on healthy environment for the non-smokers. Smokers can continue but they have to respect the rights of non smokers," he told reporters after the launch of the Pharmaceutical Association of Malaysia (PhAMA) Industry Fact Book: 2018 Edition by Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad here today. 

The ministry imposed smoking ban in Parliament  followed by eateries beginning this year under Regulation 11 of the Control of Tobacco Product Regulations (Amendments) 2018. After eateries, the ministry is also considering introducing smoking ban at launderettes and hotels. 

During the first six months of the smoking ban at eateries, Health Ministry enforcement personnel will not issue compounds and only issue warning letters. After the six-month period, anyone found guilty of the offence can be fined up to RM10,000 or jailed up to two years.

PhAMA president Chin Keat Chyuan (rpt Chyuan) in his speech said the second edition of PhAMA industry fact book provides greater insights into the nation's pharmaceutical industry current landscape, contain highlights from the association as well as individual member companies and their efforts in addressing new health related trends and challenges facing Malaysia. 

In BUTTERWORTH, Penang Health, Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Committee chairman  Dr Afif Bahardin said the state Health Department issued  1,278 warning letters  to eateries in the state for offences related to the ban.

He said that 800 of the premises did not display signs on the ban.

He added that a total of 1,604  eateries were screened to ensure compliance of the ban.

In JOHOR BAHRU, Johor Health, Environment and Agriculture Committee chairman Dr Sahruddin Jamal said the state Health Department had issued 1, 431 warning letters on the smoking ban thus far.

He said 3,470 premises were inspected for compliance from Jan1-8.

In KUALA TERENGGANU,Terengganu Health Department director  Dr Mohd Jusoh said 2, 838 premises were inspected and 1,368 warning letters were issued for non-compliance.

-- BERNAMA