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Not Easy To Smoke In Malaysia

United Nations in their Millennium Declaration 2000 has identified tobacco as the second leading cause of death in developed and developing countries. Tobacco also accounts for a large portion of the disease burden in developing countries, and currently ranked fourth in the world in its contribution to years of life lost.

The World Health Organization (WHO) Commission on Macroeconomics and Health has identified tobacco as a major avoidable cause of illness and premature death in low income countries. It has urged that tobacco control to be legislated. It has called for the adoption of the WHO’s first international treaty for tobacco control – the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) provisions into the national legislation.

In Malaysia, the earliest initiative to control tobacco consumption (smoking) was taken by Municipal Councils in 1974. The councils enacted by-laws on prohibition of smoking in cinemas. Such by-laws were only confined to areas within the municipality’s control. Municipal Council involved are Kuala Lumpur City Hall, Seremban Municipal Council, Johor Baru Municipal Council and Penang City Hall.

The first national legislation on tobacco control was gazetted in 1993. The Control of Tobacco Product Regulations 1993 (CTPR’93) was enforced throughout Malaysia in 1994. The Regulations provides among others a limited ban on tobacco advertisement and sponsorship, prohibition to distribute free sample of tobacco product, prohibition on sale to minor, prohibition on placement of vending machine, smoke free areas and requirement for health warning by government.

However in 2002, based on global development on tobacco control and in line with Malaysia became a Party to the WHO, Framework Convention On Tobacco Control, (FCTC)’ in 2003, the Ministry of Health Malaysia revised the CTPR’93. Thus, the Control of Tobacco Product Regulations 2004 (CTPR”04) was gazetted subsequently on 23rd September 2004.

Prohibition on Smoking

One of the key element of CTPR’04 is to provide for protection from second hand tobacco smoke. Article 8 of FCTC dictates the signatory countries consider total smoking prohibition in all enclosed areas and public places. However in Malaysia, the CTPR’04 have limited areas where smoking is prohibited. CTPR’04 have been amended numerous times to progressively increase the smoke free areas. Following are the places where smoking is prohibited under Regulation 11(1) of CTPR’04:

  • In any entertainment centre or theater, except pub, discotheque, night club or casino.
  • In any hospital or clinic.
  • In any public lift or toilet.
  • In any air-conditioned eating place or shop.
  • In any public vehicle/ public transport terminal.
  • In any airport.
  • In any government premises.
  • In any area used for assembly other than private or residential building.
  • In any educational institution.
  • In any nursery.
  • In any school bus.
  • In any floor with a service counter – any bank, TM Bhd., TNB and Pos Malaysia.
  • In any area in a shopping complex.
  • In any petrol stations.
  • In any stadium, sport complex, fitness centre or gymnasium.
  • In any building used for religious purpose.
  • In any area in a library.
  • In any area in an internet café.
  • In any area in a place of national service training.
  • In any area in a workplace with centralized air condition.

Apart from Regulation 11(1) of CPTR’04, smoking is also prohibited in any smoke free zones gazzetted by Minister of Health under Regulation 22 and minor i.e. any person below the age of 18 is also prohibited from smoking under Regulation 13 (1) of CPTR’04.

Penalty for Smoking

Any person who smokes in any areas prohibited for smoking commits an offence and shall on conviction be liable to a fine not exceeding RM10, 000.00 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years. However in the case of minor who smokes commits an offence and shall on conviction be liable to a fine not exceeding RM1, 000.00.

Duty of Owner or Occupier of Smoke Free Premise

Regulation 12(1) of CPTR’04 requires that the owner or occupier of a premise or proprietor of a public vehicle display a sign on prohibition of smoking as specified in the Third Schedule at any conspicuous part of the premise or vehicle. Failure to display the required signage is an offence and shall on conviction be liable to a fine not exceeding RM3,000.00 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months (Table 1).

Table 1 : Specification for No Smoking Signage

MATERIAL SHAPE/SIZE DESCRIPTION DESIGN
Any hard, opaque and long lasting material (a) The signboard shall be rectangular in shape.

(b) The minimum size of the signboard shall be as follows:

(i) in any building or premises (40 x 50) cm

(ii) in any public vehicle (15 x 18) cm

(iii) in any taxi (8 x 10) cm

(iv) at the entrance of any place (60 x 90) cm

A red thick circle and thick bar siperimposed on a black lighted cigarette shall be used as an illustration on the signboard. The signboard shall have a white background. The message “DILARANG MEROKOK” shall be written on the signboard. The lettering of the message shall be black in colour and the type of lettering shall be Arial.  

DILARANG MEROKOK

DILARANG MEROKOK

The owner or occupier of a premise or proprietor of a public vehicle should also ensure that no person smokes in the premise or vehicle. The owner or occupier of a premise or proprietor of a public vehicle needs to take all reasonable steps to ensure that no person smokes in the premise or vehicle.

Providing a place within the premise or vehicle to smoke or providing ash trays shall be deemed to be a failure of owner or occupier of a premise or proprietor of a public vehicle to take all reasonable steps to ensure that no person smokes in the premise or vehicle.

The owner or occupier of a premise or proprietor of a public vehicle who fails to ensure that no person smokes in the premise or vehicle commits an offence and shall on conviction be liable to a fine not exceeding RM5,000.00 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year.

Amendment of the Control of Tobacco Product Regulations 2013, CTPR’2013

Smoking prohibited areas were further expended in 2013 by the amendment of the CTPR’2013. Beginning 1 Jan 2014, the area for all buildings where smoking is prohibited shall be expended to include all areas within a 3 meter’s perimeter from the building line and shall also include all areas under any permanent roof covered areas of the building.

References

  1. Control of Tobacco Product Regulation 2004
  2. Control of Tobacco Product Regulation (Amendment) 2012
  3. WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control

 

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