835 compounds issued to snuff out smoking


A no-smoking notice put up at the food court in Johor Tourism Information Centre complex, Jalan Ayer Molek, Johor Baru. Eatery owners can be fined for failing to put this up at their premises.

JOHOR BARU: Johor Health Department issued a total of 835 compounds totalling RM208,750 to smokers who flouted the no-smoking ruling at eateries in the first seven months of the year.

State health and environment committee chairman R. Vidyanathan said the compounds were issued since the ruling was enforced in Johor on Jan 1, 2020.

“The amount in fines collected until the end of July is RM124,750.’’

He said the department had, among others, issued compounds to 91 underaged smokers, who were below 18 years old, at some eateries.

He added that another 113 compounds totalling RM28,250 were issued to eatery owners for failing to put up the “no-smoking” signs and for providing ashtrays in their premises.

Vidyanathan said the eatery owners were compounded under Section 12(1)(a) of Control of Tobacco Product.

He revealed that 14,222 eateries in all districts in Johor were inspected from Jan 1 to July 31, 2020, with 835 compounds issued.

He said the department had stopped enforcement operations throughout the early period of movement control order (MCO) as eateries were only allowed to offer takeaway and deliveries.

“However, the moment eateries were allowed to open to diners under the conditional MCO, operations were reactivated,’’ explained Vidyanathan.

He said data from the enforcement unit did not show an increasing trend of smoking at eateries in Johor during the conditional and recovery phases of the MCO.

“Nevertheless, we will continue to monitor eateries to ensure they are free of cigarette smoke.”

He said the state government was concerned about the health-related effects of cigarette smoke inhaled by customers patronising the eateries, including non-smokers and children.

“Our ultimate aim is to reduce the number of smokers in Johor, including reaching out to the younger generation to stop them from smoking,’’ said Vidyanathan.

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