MPs call for halt to smoking ban at open-air eateries


  • Nation
  • Friday, 15 Nov 2019

KUALA LUMPUR: A Pakatan Harapan lawmaker wants the Health Ministry to halt the implementation of the smoking ban at open-air eateries on Jan 1 next year until a proper regulation is set up for the vape industry.

Datuk Abdullah Sani Abdul Hamid (PH-Kapar) said the ministry should come up with a win-win solution and enact proper regulations for some 5,000 vape operators, who could potentially contribute to the economy.

“They should at least allow a space for smokers and vapers at eateries but this is not happening, ” he said at parliament’s lobby yesterday.

He also questioned the Health Ministry’s seizure of e-cigarette liquids from 29 premises last week.

“This should not have happened when there are no specific laws for it.

“They should instead come up with an awareness campaign for industry players on current laws.

“The move will scare away local businesses who will head overseas where they have proper regulations and laws involving vape, ” said Abdullah.

On Oct 14, the Dewan Rakyat was told that the enforcement of the ban on the sale of electronic cigarettes or vape that use liquid solutions without nicotine, is still under discussion.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said his ministry, together with the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry, were still studying the matter in-depth and that new legislation on vaping (using E-cigarettes) was being reviewed by the Attorney General’s Chambers.

The Health Ministry planned to impose the smoking ban at all restaurants and food premises from Jan 1 this year, but gave the public a grace period until June this year to help educate them on the dangers of smoking.

However, in April, the educational enforcement period was extended until the end of the year.

The smoking ban is now set to start on Jan 1,2020.

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