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More open spaces, parks designated no smoking zones

 | February 2, 2017

While Malaysian Council for Tobacco Control hails new regulation, lack of enforcement remains main problem in keeping open spaces smoke-free.


PETALING JAYA: The government has designated all national and state parks, playgrounds, camp sites and public parks in Peninsular Malaysia as no smoking zones effective Feb 1 this year, The Star reported.

The amendment to the law which regulates no smoking zones was announced by Health Minister Dr S Subramaniam last month.

For national and state parks, aside from reserved land and jungle areas, even observation towers are now no smoking zones.

At public parks, the new regulation bans smoking at pedestrian walkpaths, playing fields, game courts and playgrounds. However, smokers are allowed to have their puff at the open public car park next to the public park.

The other no smoking zones are camp sites, that basically refers to any area where camping activities are allowed, and on a canopy bridge built specifically as a walkpath between trees.

The Malaysian Council for Tobacco Control hailed the new regulation, saying it was necessary because many people felt it was okay to smoke at any open space, including parks.

“It would be better to declare all public places as ‘no smoking zones’ and then list the exceptions.

“But a large size of the population is addicted to smoking and doing that would not be a popular move for the politicians,” the council’s treasurer-general Muham­mad Sha’ani Abdullah told The Star.

He added that local councils were responsible to enforce the law at public parks.

Meanwhile, smokers the daily spoke to, did not seem to be unduly worried over the added restrictions on them enjoying their habit outdoors.

One man said the regulation may be followed for a while but as enforcement was not likely to be strict, smokers will get back to their old habits at such public places.

Transport supervisor Mohd Arif Abd Samad told The Star that he and other smokers would abide by the new ruling for now, but added that any new law would not bring about significant change without proper enforcement.


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