Stern action to snuff out bad habit

  • Metro News
  • Wednesday, 05 Feb 2020

A ‘No Smoking’ sign displayed at the food court in Angsana Mall Johor Baru.

JOHOR BARU: Johor Health Department issued 488 compounds and collected RM112,000 in penalties from the public who flouted the no-smoking ruling at eateries in the state.

The ruling was enforced on Jan 1 this year.

Department director Dr Aman Rabu said the compounds were issued following the implementation of the no-smoking ruling until Jan 25.

“A total of 51 out of the 488 compounds were issued to underage smokers, ’’ he said.

Dr Aman said another 117 compounds with penalties totalling RM29,250 were issued to eatery owners, with 102 for failing to put up the “no-smoking” signs and for providing ashtrays at their premises.

He said 9,799 eateries in all districts in the state were inspected from Jan 1 until Jan 25.

The operations were conducted by the health department officers, with 616 compounds issued on the spot at the outlets.

Dr Aman said apart from displaying the “no-smoking” signs and no providing ashtrays at their outlets, eatery owners were also prohibited from offering shisha smoking services or a smoking room for smokers.

“We will continue to monitor eateries in the state to ensure they are free of cigarette smoke, ’’ he added.

Dr Aman said the department was concerned about the exposure and health-related effects of cigarette smoke inhaled by customers patronising the eateries, including non-smokers and children.

He said the ultimate aim was to reduce the number of smokers in the state, including reaching out to the younger generation to stop them from smoking under the IMFree programme.

“The IMFree is an educational and prevention programme targeting primary and secondary school students, ’’ said Dr Aman.

He said the Oral Health without Smoke programme was an intervention programme to reach out to primary and secondary school students who were smoking and help them give up the habit.

Dr Aman said the health department also actively promoting the Quit Smoking Clinic (KBM) under the mQuit programme to encourage smokers to stop smoking voluntarily.

“Last year, some 602 smokers registered with KBM clinics in Johor and 373 or 62% of them stopped smoking, ’’ he said.Dr Aman said the number of smokers in the state who quit last year was encouraging, compared with 56.6% recorded in 2018.

He said KBM clinics were available at all public health clinics in the state, with the programme extended to private hospitals as well.

Smokers who want to quit smoking can register online at the Health Ministry website or call 03-8883 4400 for details.

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