KUALA LUMPUR: Some 708 fines, amounting to RM170,200, have been issued to smokers - including minors - as well as owners of food premises following enforcement of the smoking ban at eateries from Jan 1.
As many as 2,087 Health Ministry enforcement personnel checked 6,119 food premises.
They issued 605 fines, amounting to RM144,450.00, to smokers. These include 34, issued to minors (aged 18 and below).
Another 103 fines amounting to RM25,750.00 were issued to premises owners; 79 notices for failing to display the "no-smoking" sign and 24 notices for offering items which facilitated smoking.
"Those found smoking in eateries were given the RM250 fine and first time offenders can get it lowered to RM150 if the payment is made at any health district office within one month from the date the fine was issued," said Health director-general Datuk Seri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah in a statement Thursday (Jan 2).
For the second offence, no reduction will be given and for the third and subsequent offences, the fine is RM350.
Meanwhile, eatery owners who committed offence for the first or second time are fined RM250, while for third and subsequent offences the fine is RM350.
The Health Ministry carried out the smoking ban enforcement on all eateries including open-air dining areas as required under Regulation 11(1) Control of Tobacco Product Regulations 2004 (Amendment) Regulations 2018 since Jan 1, said Dr Noor Hisham.
The latest regulations prohibit smoking within a three-metre radius from any table or chair at an eating place.
Dr Noor Hisham said that enforcement was also carried out on all food premises owners under Regulations 12(1) and 12(1) of the Control of Tobacco Product Regulations 2004 to ensure that their eating places are free from all forms of smoking by displaying the no-smoking sign clearly and not providing ashtrays or services selling shisha or other types of smoking equipment.
The enforcement was carried out simultaneously on Jan 1 from 8am to midnight nationwide, he said.
"Overall, premises owners have given cooperation and carried out their responsibilities to ensure smoking is banned," he said.
Dr Noor Hisham said the percentage of offences committed by premises owners has dropped from 47% on Jan 1 last year to 1.7% in January this year.
However, he expressed concern that as many as 10% of smokers at eateries were still smoking.
"The ministry urges all to cooperate and adhere to the smoking ban to ensure that the health of society is guaranteed," he said.
For those who want to quit smoking, they could get advice from mQuit services in all government health clinics and hospitals nationwide or in any private healthcare facilities with accredited mQuit services.
For more information, go to http://jomquit.moh.gov.my or call 03-8883 4400.
Did you find this article insightful?
100% readers found this article insightful