175 notices issued to individuals, premises owners for smoking offences at prohibited areas in Sabah

KOTA KINABALU: Some 175 notices were issued by Sabah Health Department to individuals and premises owners across the state for smoking related offences on Wednesday (May 24) night.

The majority of the notices (103) was for breaking the smoking prohibition at eateries or air-conditioned premises under Regulation 11(1)(d) of the Control of Tobacco Product Regulations 2004.

This was followed by 40 notices of smoking at the airport, which was another prohibited area under Regulation 11(1)(g), said the state Department (public health) inspectorate and legal unit chief Ramash Rasnan.

The notices were issued during an integrated mega operation held state-wide to enforce the regulations here, where 856 premises had been inspected, said Ramash who led the operation here.

"The operation started at 7pm and ended at 11pm with 417 authority personnel involved, consisting of our health officers (363), police officers (24) and local authorities (30).

"A total of 12 notices had also been issued to premises owners who failed to put up the no-smoking sign at their premises according to Regulation 12(1)(a), while eight were issued for those found smoking at shopping complexes according to Regulation 11(1)(n)," he added.

He said notices for other offences include underage individuals found smoking, and those smoking at other prohibited areas like hospital or clinic, and public transport terminal.

Individuals who received the notices have to pay a compound notice of RM250, and those who failed to do so could be brought to court and fined RM10,000, and face a jail term of up to two years.

Ramash said the operation is part of the preparation for the tabling of the Control of Smoking Product for Public Health Bill expected at the Dewan Rakyat at the end of this month, as well as part of the Health Ministry’s strategy to increase community awareness on smoking in prohibited areas.

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