IN A move to protect the public from exposure to second-hand smoke, Health Ministry has awarded Sunway City Kuala Lumpur’s auxiliary police team key letters of empowerment, which enable them to educate and enforce a zoned smoking policy in the 320ha Sunway City Kuala Lumpur township, towards creating a healthier, cleaner and safer environment for everyone.
The letters of empowerment, presented in 2018, qualify the trained auxiliary police personnel to issue summonses to those caught smoking in no-smoking zones.
Under the Control of Tobacco Product (Amendment) Regulations 2017, offenders could face a maximum fine of RM10,000 or up to two years’ imprisonment.
This move will help non-smokers avoid risks associated with second-hand smoke.
Supported by the police, the initiative is in line with Malaysia’s aim to reduce smoking prevalence to 15% by 2025 and to be a smoke-free nation by 2045, as stated in the National Strategic Plan for Tobacco Control 2015-2020.
It was the first time both Health Ministry and the police had trained auxiliary police personnel in enforcement.
Prior to this, enforcement was undertaken only by the police.
The Sunway City Kuala Lumpur team has been educating the public since August 2018, by placing no-smoking signs, bunting and banners to inform the public about designated no-smoking zones and redirect smokers to certain areas if they want to smoke.
As of now, smoking is prohibited in all Sunway-owned buildings in Sunway City Kuala Lumpur.
Sunway sustainability solutions, property and facilities manage-ment head Cheng Jew Keng said, “Aside from freeing non-smokers from harmful effects of second-hand smoke, the no-smoking policy is also in line with the environmental efforts that we are undertaking.
“Studies have shown that tobacco smoke contains about 4,000 chemicals. Cigarette litter is laced with chemicals and can end up in our precious water supply.
“Cigarette butts can also take up to 10 years to decompose, causing further harm to the environment.”