GEG element removed from anti-smoking Bill


KUALA LUMPUR: The generational end-game (GEG) element has been removed from the revised Control of Smoking Products for Public Health 2023 Bill tabled for the first reading in the Dewan Rakyat on Tuesday (Nov 28).

This is as the Health Ministry tries for the third time to legislate the anti-smoking law.

ALSO READ: Amended version of anti-smoking Bill to be tabled for first reading in the Dewan Rakyat today

The GEG element which sought to ban those born in 2007 and onwards from smoking or purchasing smoking products has been done away with.

The GEG element was part of the Bill tabled for the first reading in June as well as the original version of the Bill then known as the Control of Tobacco Product and Smoking Bill 2022.

Instead, the new version of the Bill prohibits the sale of tobacco products, smoking substance or substitute tobacco products or provide any services for smoking to a minor.

ALSO READ: Congrats Big Tobacco, you’ve won but it’s not over, says KJ

Clause 17(1) of the Bill prohibits minors from smoking, chewing or using any tobacco product or smoke any substitute tobacco product.

Minors who buy tobacco products, smoke substances or substitute tobacco products shall be fined not more than RM500 or be ordered to do community service pursuant to the Criminal Procedure Code or the Child Act 2001.

According to Clause 13 2(a) of the proposed Bill, a person found to have committed an offence of selling tobacco products, smoking substance or substitutes to smoking products or providing any services for smoking to a minor shall be fined not more than RM20,000 or imprisoned for not more than a year or both.

If the offence is committed for the second time, the individual will be liable to a fine of up to RM30,000, imprisonment of up to two years or both.

Corporate bodies committing the same offence, will be fined not less than RM20,000 and not more than RM100,000. They will be also subjected to a imprisonment of up to two years or both.

The Bill proposed that for repeat offences, the corporate body shall be fined between RM50,000 and RM300,000 or a prison term of up to three years or both.

“Any person who contravenes subsection(1) commits an offence and shall on conviction be liable to a fine not exceeding RM500 or be ordered to perform community service pursuant to the Criminal Procedure Code or the Child Act 2001,” the Bill read.

The Bill was tabled by Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa (pic).

Dr Zaliha proposed the Bill to be tabled for the second reading on Nov 29.

Dr Zaliha also retracted the previous version of the Bill which was tabled in June.

The original Bill which was known as the Contol of Tobacco Product and Smoking Bill 2022 was first tabled by then Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin last year.

It was later sent to the committee for fine-tuning due to resistance from several lawmakers.

This was done after the Bill was tabled for the first reading.

The Bill was then tabled for its first reading in June this year before being sent to the Parliamentary Special Select Committee(PSSC) for further review.

While tabling the motion to refer the Bill to the PSSC, Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa said that this was to allow the committee to make the necessary recommendations to further fine-tune the laws for the GEG.

“The Bill was tabled to Cabinet and received approval to be tabled in Parliament,” she said.

“The first reading of the Bill shows that the government is committed to implementing it,” she added.

This was not the first time the anti-smoking Bill was sent to the PSSC for review and fine-tuning.

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GEG , Anti-Smoking Bill , Parliament

   

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