Malaysia

Smoking ban extended to private sector offices

May 31, 2010

KUALA LUMPUR, May 31 — The Health Ministry has decided to enforce the smoking ban at work places and offices in the private sector that are installed with central air-conditioning systems, said Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai today.

Liow said the inclusion of smoking ban on private sectors offices and work places would raise the total number of places designated as no smoking areas to 21.

Earlier 19 areas, including hospitals/clinics, public lifts and toilets, air-conditioned restaurants, public transport, government premises, educational institutions, petrol stations, Internet cafes and shopping complexes, were designated as no smoking areas.

“The move will protect non-smokers in offices and work places from becoming ‘second-hand smokers’ and thus prevent them from illnesses or diseases related to smoke,” he told reporters after launching the national-level World Tobacco-Free Day here today in the presence of World Health Organisation (WHO) representative for Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei Dr Corinne Capuano.

The theme for this year’s campaign, “Gender and Tobacco: with an emphasis on marketing to women”, was emphasised to prevent cigarette companies from targetting women smokers during their marketing campaigns.

Liow said the ministry would also increase enforcement at restricted areas so that public would observe the rules.

He added that since smokers have become comfortable with warning pictures placed on cigarette boxes, the government would change the pictures to be more effective.

“So now, I’ll ask my department to conduct a formal study of what kind of pictures actually can scare them (smokers),” he said. — Bernama