Health Ministry still upholding smoking ban at eateries in Malaysia, says deputy minister

Health Department officers put up a no-smoking sign at a restaurant in George Town January 2, 2020. — Bernama pic
Health Department officers put up a no-smoking sign at a restaurant in George Town January 2, 2020. — Bernama pic

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BAGAN SERAI, June 13 — The Ministry of Health (MOH) has not stopped enforcing the smoking ban at eateries and enhancing the campaign to ensure the public’s health and well-being, said Deputy Health Minister Datuk Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali.

He said the public’s perception that the ban was no longer in force was inaccurate as the reduction in enforcement was because more attention was being paid towards efforts to curb the spread of Covid-19.

“The campaign is still being carried out and has not been halted.

“There’s reduced enforcement because the country is currently focusing on Covid-19. Anyway, food premises were not open (and eat-ins were also not allowed in the premises) in the past three months due to the movement control order (MCO),” he said today.

Dr Noor Azmi, who is also Bagan Serai MP, said this after presenting donations as well as assistance to residents who were affected by a storm in Kampung Sungai Semambu, Kampung Parit Mentara 3, Kampung Jalan Banjar and Kampung Jalan Gunung Semanggol near here yesterday.

He was commenting on the grievances aired by the public about how many people were smoking again at eateries after the outlets were allowed to operate and eat-ins were permitted.

Dr Noor Azmi said the government would table a bill on tobacco control, which was previously enacted under the Food Act 1983, in Parliament soon and that the draft was being scrutinised by the Attorney-General’s Chambers.

The government enforced the smoking ban at food premises under the Control of Tobacco Products (Amendment) Regulations 2018 effective from January 1, 2019, with smoking only allowed three metres or 10 feet away from food premises and open-air restaurants. — Bernama

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