BATU GAJAH (Bernama): Eateries are not allowed to provide designated smoking areas within the business operations area, says the Health Ministry.
Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye said the smoking ban was within three metres of the premises.
"If an eatery provides a designated smoking area outside the premises, it does not fall under the authority of the Health Ministry (MOH) but the local authority.
"We have had discussions with local authorities. The Housing and Local Government Ministry may consider allowing eateries to provide ashtrays for cigarette butts," he said at a press conference to announce a "Health and Blood Donation" campaign at the Batu Gajah parliamentary community service centre here on Sunday (Jan 5).
Dr Lee said eateries would have to comply with the restaurant operating licence issued by local authorities, and stern action would be taken if the rules were flouted.
In a separate development, Dr Lee said lack of awareness among the public on the importance of early cancer detection was among the causes for the rising number of new cases.
According to statistics, 95% of cancer can be treated if detected early.
"However, cancer can be difficult to treat once it has entered the fourth stage," he said.
He said initial screening for cancer could be done at health clinics, in the form of mammograms, pap smear tests as well as blood stool screening for colorectal cancer.
On Friday (Jan 4), Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah reported that there was an increase in the number of new cancer cases over five years from 2012 to 2016, with 115,238 cases detected compared to 103,507 cases for the same period from 2007 to 2011.
The rate for cancer cases is 86 cases per 100,000 male population and 102 cases per 100,000 female population.
According to the same report, the top ten types of cancer detected among Malaysians for the period 2012-2016 were breast, colorectal, lung, lymphoma, nasopharynx, leukemia, prostate gland, liver, uterus and ovary.
Subsequent analyses by gender found that the highest rates of cancer in men were colorectal cancer, lung cancer and prostate gland, while in women it was breast cancer followed by colorectal and cervical cancer. – Bernama