PUTRAJAYA: The minimum price for a pack of cigarettes will go up from RM7 to RM9 effective tomorrow, as the Government continues its crusade against the smoking habit among Malaysians.
On the same date next year, the price will be increased to RM10.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said the decision was agreed to by the steering committee of the World Health Organisation’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), which met yesterday.
“In line with Malaysia’s pledge on the FCTC, which we signed in 2003, the steering committee had agreed to strengthen several aspects of tobacco control as outlined in the treaty,” said Dr Subramaniam at a press conference yesterday, after chairing the meeting.
The Government had set the minimum price for a pack of cigarettes at RM7 in Sept 2012. It also standardised the number of sticks per pack to 20 at that time.
Besides the price hike, the committee also agreed to designate all parks as no-smoking zones.
“All public parks, except for their outdoor car park areas, will be designated as no-smoking zones.
“As for national parks, areas with a high concentration of people within the park will be turned into non-smoking areas,” said Dr Subramaniam.
A ministry official later clarified that the areas would include campsites, canopy walks and observation decks.
Dr Subramaniam said the committee had also approved the move to declare all air-conditioned eateries as non-smoking areas.
“Under current regulations, air-conditioned eateries can designate one-third of its premises as a smoking area. Today, the committee has agreed to impose no-smoking at all areas of eateries that have air-conditioning,” he added.
The new no-smoking zones would be enforced by Jan 1 next year latest, said Dr Subramaniam. “From now, we will be implementing ‘educational enforcement’.”