Smoking at open air mamak stalls and hawker centers may be considered illegal starting this December, according to the Ministry of Health (MOH)
The gazettement of smoke-free zones at open air eateries was announced under the Control of Tobacco Product (Amendment) Regulations 2017 at Dewan Negara on Wednesday, 5 September.
Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye said that the initiative is to encourage smokers to kick the habit and to protect others from second-hand smoke
"No doubt smokers will say they have the right to smoke, but non-smokers also have the right to have smoke-free areas," Lee was quoted as saying according to The Star.
If there are no objections, the ministry also proposed to close the smoking room in Parliament by October to make the entire law-making House a smoke-free zone.
The Gopeng MP added that the proposal has received positive feedback from the public so far
"During our engagement with industrial peers, coffee shop and restaurant owners, there were some reservations, but the general public is open and accepting of the plan," Lee told The Star.
If the law comes into effect, offenders may be fined RM10,000 or jailed for up to two years
Open air hawker stalls and mamaks will join 21 other areas that are required to be smoke-free under the Tobacco Product (Amendment) Regulations 2017, reported The Star.
Some of these include hospitals, parks, clinics, lifts, government premises, schools, public toilets, and air-conditioned places.
What do you think of the proposed rule on smoking at open air eateries? Let us know in the comments section below!
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