SMOKING will be prohibited at three public parks in Klang, effective July 1 this year.
The parks are Taman Bandar Di Raja, Taman Rakyat in Taman Sri Andalas and Pandamaran Sports Complex, Port Klang,
An awareness campaign on the smoking ban at the parks will start from May 3.
On Feb 1, the Control of Tobacco Product (Amendment) Regulations 2017 came into force, where public parks in Malaysia are designated as no smoking areas except for open public carparks.
Under the amendment, smoking is no longer allowed at camp sites, game courts, playgrounds and public parks.
Klang Municipal Council (MPK) corporate communications director Norfiza Mahfiz said the municipality supported the new regulations gazetted by the Health Ministry on Jan 24.
“The ban will help create a healthier environment for families and children.
“Our enforcement department will conduct spot checks at the three public parks,” she said, calling for full support from the public.
“Our public parks must be smoke-free.
“Second-hand smoke can cause cancer and this action is good to discourage people from lighting up at parks where children and non-smokers gather,” she added.
In June, 2013, the Petaling Jaya City Council tried to initiate a ban on smoking at Taman Jaya, a public park, but could not get the law approved.
Now with the Federal Government gazette, local councils nationwide can implement the ban on smoking.
Malaysians spend between RM500 and RM600 a month on cigarettes.
Norfiza added that the rule would further discourage smoking by young people.
Once the ban is enforced, those caught smoking at the park will be fined RM50.
Klang Consumer Association president Devadass Anjan said the municipality must be strict in enforcing the new rule.
“Having only the no smoking sign is pointless. I have noticed people lighting up their cigarettes in the municipality building lobby despite it being an air-conditioned area where smoking is not allowed.
“The health officers must slap an immediate fine to get the message across,” he added.
City parks need to be central