Smoking and vaping at restaurants will be strictly prohibited starting 1 January 2020, according to Deputy Health Minister
"We will enforce this ban and we hope to get the support from the public on this," Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye was quoted as saying by Malay Mail.
Dr Lee added that the Health Ministry has about 5,000 environmental health officers nationwide who will conduct random spot checks and issue summonses.
While the law was introduced in 2018, it was relaxed for 2019 to allow time for adjustment and familiarisation.
According to Malay Mail, the restaurant smoking ban will be strictly imposed starting next year with enforcement action including random inspections to apprehend those who break the law.
RM250 fine will be imposed on first-time offenders
The fine would be reduced to RM150 if it was settled in less than a month.
However, if left unpaid and brought to court, the fine could snowball to RM10,000.
"If stubborn (and) not paying up, a fine of up to RM10,000 can be imposed,” he was quoted as saying by a Bernama report.
The Deputy Health Minister also warned smokers to make good use of this opportunity to quit entirely or cut down.
Meanwhile, Malay Mail also reported that users of e-cigarettes or vapes would be treated similarly as smokers
The Malay Mail report quoted Dr Lee commenting on the users of electronic nicotine delivery systems and vapes.
Prior to this, it was reported that the Health Ministry will be tabling a new bill on the usage of tobacco, vape, electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) and shisha.
According to Minister of Health Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad, they are in the final phase of the study to formulate the bill, which is described as more comprehensive to handle various current issues.
Dr Dzulkefly added that the Bill will be tabled in Parliament by March 2020 sitting.