Smoking Ban to Be Imposed at All Malaysian Eateries From 1 Jan 2019
Starting from 1 January next year, a smoking ban will be enforced at all Malaysian restaurants nationwide. This includes hawker stalls and coffee shops, covering air-conditioned and non-air-conditioned eateries, street stalls and open-air hawker centers.
Malaysia’s Deputy Health Minister stated during a health forum at the Asian Institute of Medical, Science and Technology in Kedah that this was a mandatory ban. Anyone who was caught in violation of the ban and smoking in areas which were prohibited would be slapped with a fine of RM10,000. Any eatery which was found not enforcing the rule would also be fined a sum of RM2,500.
The Deputy Health Minister said that it was expected smokers would claim that they had a right to smoke, but non-smokers also had a right to expect smoke-free areas. This move was to help encourage smokers to get rid of this habit while simultaneously protecting non-smokers from the damaging effects of second-hand tobacco smoke.
The ban is reinforcing Malaysia’s commitment as a member of state to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. Malaysia’s Control of Tobacco Product (Amendment) Regulations 2017 currently prohibits smoking in 21 areas, among which include government premises, air-conditioned shops, public toilets, lifts, hospitals and shops. The move to impose the smoking ban is also reinforcing Malaysia’s adherence to the guidelines set under Article 8 of the World Health Organization.