Health ministry to issue summonses for smoking ban starting July 1

Bloomberg pic.

PUTRAJAYA: Beginning July 1, the health ministry will start issuing summonses to smokers who continue lighting up at eateries despite the nationwide smoking ban which came into effect this year.

Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye said no summonses would be issued during the six-month grace period.

“But by July 1, we will increase enforcement and start issuing summonses.

“We want to urge the public to cooperate and obey the ban (at eateries), and hope they will change their way of smoking, or reduce smoking.

“If they are looking for ways to quit smoking, there are facilities available at 731 government clinics and 46 government hospitals, free of charge,” he told reporters here today.

Some 5,000 environmental health officers from the health ministry have reportedly been tasked with enforcing the ban.

Under the ban, those caught smoking at eateries can be fined a maximum of RM10,000 or jailed up to two years, while restaurant operators who fail to put up no-smoking signs risk a fine not exceeding RM3,000 or jail time of up to six months.

Restaurant owners can also be fined RM5,000 or jailed for up to six months if they allow smoking on their premises.