PUTRAJAYA: Designated smoking areas can be built outside eateries and in public areas, says Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin.
She said eateries and restaurant operators could provide designated smoking areas that were at least 3m from their nearest table.
Restaurant operators, she said, could apply to set up these zones via their local councils at their own expense.
"This is to satisfy the smokers and show that the government is concerned with their plight. We provide the facility, so that they are more willing to comply with the no-smoking policy," Zuraida said at her ministry headquarters near here on Tuesday (Jan 7).
Meanwhile, she revealed that RM1mil had been allocated by her ministry to local councils to set up designated smoking areas in public areas such as food courts and parks.
The guidelines on designated smoking areas will be provided to the local councils, who will then engage with the restaurant operators.
Among the guidelines are that the premises owners must provide a place to dispose of cigarette butts and maintain the cleanliness of the place.
These smoking areas may have a canopy, and if the area requires the construction of a permanent structure, approval by the local council must be obtained.
A clear signage must also be installed to mark the place as a designated smoking area.