Smoking ban respected


  • Metro News
  • Tuesday, 07 Jan 2020

Customers at an eatery enjoying the smoke-free environment.

MOST operators in Ipoh have seen a positive response from customers since the smoking ban at eateries came into effect nationwide on Jan 1.

Those interviewed by StarMetro said fewer smokers were lighting up.

Restaurant owner Jamilah Idris, 57, said she did not have to advise her customers as they were adhering to the ruling.

“The Health Ministry has asked all eateries to place ‘No-smoking’ signs in our premises.

“I have put up at least three signs so customers should be aware of the ban by now. Furthermore, I do not sell cigarettes.”

Jamilah said one customer had asked her to provide a smoking area.

“I declined because I think it is better to provide a smoke-free environment, ” she said.

The smoking ban in all restaurants, coffeeshops, hawker centres and open-air eateries was announced by Health Ministry in October 2018 but only enforced from Jan 1 this year.

Those caught smoking in prohibited areas can be fined up to RM10,000 or jailed up to two years while eatery owners who fail to display “No-smoking” signs will face a maximum fine of RM3,000.

Smokers can still light up 3m away from the food establishments.

It was reported that RM170,200 in summonses were issued to smokers and eatery owners nationwide on the first day of the ban.

Stall owner Kelvin Khoo, 36, said customers were cooperating by not smoking within

the restaurant.

“Most of them step outside the premises to take a puff. I think awareness level of the ruling is quite high.

“Several enforcement officers came by the restaurant in the evening but they did not issue any summonses as everyone was complying with the ban, ” he added.

A customer, who only wished to be known as Wong, said she welcomed the ban.

“When my family and I go to restaurants, we would have my grandchildren with us too.

“With the implementation of the ban, we will have a more comfortable dining experience, ” she said.

“Some smokers may not realise how uncomfortable it is to breathe in secondhand smoke.

“I also hope that restaurants will stop selling cigarettes as this encourages smoking, ” added Wong.

Housewife LF Leong, in her 50s, said smokers were probably being cautious during the first few days.

“Many do not want to get caught as they know that enforcement will be stepped up during this period.

“I think the ban will only be effective if there are continuous checks by enforcement officers, ” she added.

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