PETALING JAYA: The Star team fanned out to 58 eateries across the country to see the effect of the smoking ban on Malaysians.
The places surveyed included mamak restaurants, coffee shops, food courts and one fast food outlet.
There was general compliance at eateries in Penang and Ipoh.
However, many of the restaurants surveyed in the Klang Valley and Melaka defied the ban, with people saying they managed to smoke.
In Sabah and Sarawak – where the ban has yet to be enforced – customers were seen smoking openly.
Despite reports that there would be 5,008 enforcement officers on patrol on the first day, they were seen at only two places – a restaurant in SS2, Petaling Jaya and two more in Bandar Sri Permaisuri, Kuala Lumpur, where the Health Minister had a walkabout earlier.
Out of the 58 eateries, 48 had put up at least one sign on the premises warning customers not to smoke.
In the Klang Valley, seven out of nine eateries surveyed had put up signs. Workers from two of the eateries were seen telling off customers who tried to light up.
In Penang, all 20 restaurants observed had the signs put up but there were smokers puffing away in five.
In Johor, three out of the four eateries observed had put up signs but there were no health officers in sight.
A worker at a mamak restaurant told off a customer for trying to smoke while the remaining three establishments were seen reminding patrons not to light up.
In Ipoh, all of the six eateries observed had put up the required no-smoking signs. While there were no health officers present, one customer was told off at a coffee shop for smoking.
Meanwhile at another, a patron was seen lighting up in the back alley.
In Kuantan, no one was seen trying to smoke at the two eateries observed by The Star, one of which was a mamak restaurant and the other a roadside stall.
One displayed the no-smoking sign while the other did not. There were no health officers.
In Melaka, all eight establishments surveyed had the no-smoking signs put up. A few customers were seen smoking but no one told them off.
In Sabah, three out of the six establishments observed had signs up.
Those with signs, which were two coffee shops and one mamak restaurant, said they would tell off customers who tried to smoke.
Meanwhile, those with no signs said they would wait for the state government’s decision.
In Sarawak, three of the restaurants observed did not have no-smoking signs.
There were also no ashtrays or health officers seen at the premises.