1,453 Warning Letters Have Been Issued In First Two Days Of Smoking Ban

Majority of those who received warning letters pleaded ignorance about the ban.

Cover image via Free Malaysia Today

Barely two days since the national smoking ban was effectively enforced, a total of 1,453 people have been issued warning letters for smoking in restaurants and hawker stalls

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad revealed in a press conference that 611 enforcement personnel from the ministry visited 2,786 eateries, including 24-hour outlets, by the afternoon of 2 January, Bernama reported.

Ministry enforcement personnel have been reminded to only issue warning letters instead of taking punitive action during the first six months of the smoking ban

After the six-month period, anyone found guilty of the offence can be fined up to RM10,000 or jailed up to two years under Regulation 11 of the Control of Tobacco Product Regulations 2004.

Dzulkefly revealed that the majority of those who received warning letters or were given advice pleaded ignorance about the ban.

"It's not that they are completely banned from smoking. If they need to smoke, they should move away from others," the Health Minister said.

He added that he was pleased to see photographs on social media of smokers isolating themselves three metres away to take a puff.

“The response following the smoking ban is very encouraging and I hope the public takes collective responsibility in ensuring the ban can be enforced effectively even if there is no standing officer to constantly monitor," Malay Mail reported.

Meanwhile, a group called Smokers Right Club have filed a judicial review application against the ban:

The smoking ban came into effect on 1 January. Here's all you need to know about it:

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