Prices of cigarettes go up next month

KUALA LUMPUR: The retail price for all cigarette brands will be increased in three weeks’ time, Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad announced today.

He said prices of tobacco products had to be increased due to an increase in taxes under Regulation 8A of the Tobacco Revenue Control Regulations 2004.

“The recent implementation of the sales and services tax (SST) will cause prices for all types of tobacco products, including cigarettes, to be increased,” he told a press conference at the Parliament lobby today.

On the smoking ban in the Parliament building, Dzulkefly said eight compound notices were issued, including to an MP, since enforcement started yesterday.

The action was taken following the declaration of the Parliament building as a smoke-free zone effective yesterday.

Dzulkefly also announced the ban on the sale of alcoholic beverages to those aged 21 and below, effective today.

He said all those who sold alcoholic drinks were also required to display the cautionary warning “Drinking Alcohol Can Endanger Health”.

He said all alcoholic beverages for sale would also have to be placed in different cabinets or racks away from the other items on sale.

Dzulkefly said failure to comply with any alcohol-related regulation was an offence and if convicted one could be fined not more than RM10,000 or imprisoned up to two years.

He said that the same rules must also be complied with by the organisers of the Oktoberfest.

Commenting on the new standard of compounded hard liquor, he said it was established to control the safety and quality of the products and provide accurate information to consumers.

“The new standard states that these drinks will only be allowed to be sold in glass bottles with a minimum volume of 700ml.

“They can no longer be in small bottles as these can be easily hidden inside the trouser pockets of students or consumed by minors,” he said.