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Smoking corners at eateries being considered
Published on: Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Ipoh: The Health Ministry is considering to allow special smoking corners at all non-air conditioned eateries when the smoking ban takes off next year.However, Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye felt that it should not be encouraged.

"We have taken note of feedback from smokers and restaurant owners regarding the impending ban at non-air conditioned restaurants.

"There were some requests for smoking corners at non-air conditioned restaurants, which we are considering, though I am not in favour of it," he said after opening a diabetes symposium yesterday.

Dr Lee had remarked that smo­king at all restaurants, coffeeshops and hawker centres nationwide will be banned starting next year, even in open air eateries.

Those caught smoking at prohibi­ted areas will be fined up to RM10,000 or face two years' jail.

Under the Control of Tobacco Product Regulations 2004 under the Food Act, eatery owners will also have to comply with it to prevent smokers from violating the ban or else be fined up to RM2,500.

Dr Lee said there were still plenty of areas for smokers to light up.

"I think smokers will still have the chance to smoke in their own compound, by the roadside and lots of open air spaces that will not restrict them from doing so.

"We recognise their right to smoke but we must also recognise non-smokers' right to a smoke-free environment," he said, adding that the ministry would first intensify public awareness before beefing up the enforcement.

Dr Lee assured restaurant owners they need not worry about their business being affected.

"People don't go to restaurants because they want to smoke, they go there to eat," he said.


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