MELAKA: Most of the people caught smoking in prohibited premises on the first official day of the no-smoking ban were foreigners, says state Health and Anti-Drug Committee chairman Low Chee Leong.
He said these offenders were aware of the full enforcement of no-smoking law beginning Wednesday (Jan 1) under the Regulation 11 (1) (d) of the Tobacco Control Regulation (PPKHT) Regulations 2004 (amended) 2018.
“However, most of them thought that there would be no enforcement and were caught by surprise when the state Health Department officers appeared at these eateries during breakfast, ” he said when contacted.
Low said 10 fines were issued on the first day of the new ruling requiring eatery owners to ensure that their premises are completely smoke-free.
He said checks also showed that the 154 premises visited on Wednesday had complied with the mandatory no-smoking signs at their restaurants.
He added that all the eateries had also stopped providing amenities for smokers, like ashtrays.
“This reflects the fact that restaurateurs are following the move to gazette eateries as no-smoking zones, ” he said, adding that enforcement operations will be intensified in all areas.
“This is because many people think that enforcement would only be focused on the heart of the city, ” he said.
Low said those caught smoking in no-smoking zones – including all eateries – will be issued a RM250 fine.
Under the new ruling, eatery owners must ensure that the “no smoking” sign is displayed prominently and adequately.
Business owners can be fined RM250 for the first and second offences, and RM350 for the third offence if they fail to comply.