KUALA LUMPUR, March 15 ― Under the National Strategic Plan for Tobacco Control, all hotels in the country will be gazetted as smoke-free areas by year end.
A report in The Star today also said that the policy, which is a move by several ministries and stakeholders, including the Malaysian Council for Tobacco Control, will be expanded to include other public areas in the coming years.
According to the special report, the move aims to get some 130,000 smokers to kick the habit annually.
“We aim to reduce the prevalence of tobacco smoking by 30 per cent by 2025,” Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S Subramaniam was quoted as saying.
Other areas that will also see the smoke-free sign introduced in due time are public and recreational parks next year, non-air conditioned restaurants in 2018, all enclosed public areas in 2019 and open public areas in 2020.
Apart from gazetting public places as no-smoking zones, the report also pointed that there are plans to increase the excise duty of tobacco products.
In another report in The Star, hoteliers were reported saying they were being unclear on the government's move to gazette hotels as smoke-free zones.
“In some countries, designated smoking areas are outside the hotels, some even away from the building. It should not be an issue,” Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) president Sam Cheah was quoted as saying.
“Some hotels also have cigar bars. Will that be banned too?” he asked.