KUALA LUMPUR: Eateries must display no-smoking signs and stop providing ashtrays to customers from Jan 2019, says the Health Ministry.
Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye said these are some of the requirements that they must comply with once eateries nationwide are gazetted as no-smoking zones next month.
Dr Lee said that eateries need to display at least one rectangular 40cm x 50cm no-smoking poster at a prominent location in their premises.
"They must also not provide any facilities for smokers at their premises such as ashtrays.
"There can be no smoking area or room in the eateries but smokers can still light up 10 feet (3.048m) away from the eateries," Dr Lee said in a press conference at Parliament on Monday (Dec 17).
Besides tobacco products, vape and shisha with nicotine are also included in the ban, said Dr Lee.
He also said that the first six months after the ban is introduced would be more of a grace period to educate and warn smokers.
"Although we have the authority to penalise offenders, according to standard practice, the first six months would be more towards warning and education.
"But if there are still some stubborn smokers, then the officers can straightaway penalise them," said Dr Lee.
There are 5,008 environmental health officers with the authority to penalise offenders that have been tasked to enforce the ban.
Complaints about non-compliant smokers can be lodged at the Ministry's hotline at 03-88924530.
In October, the Health Ministry announced that smoking in all restaurants, coffee-shops and hawker centres nationwide will be banned starting next year, This includes open air eateries.
Those caught smoking in prohibited areas would be fined up to RM10,000 or face two years’ jail while eateries found to have allowed customers to light up will be fined up to RM2,500.