Smoking is still banned at eateries, says deputy minister

The ban on smoking within eateries, which began on Jan 1, is still in force.

BAGAN SERAI: The health ministry has not stopped enforcing the smoking ban at eateries and will be enhancing the campaign to ensure the public’s health and well-being, said deputy health minister Noor Azmi Ghazali.

He said the perception among the public that the ban was no longer in force was inaccurate as the reduction in enforcement was because more attention was being paid towards efforts to curb the spread of Covid-19.

“The campaign is still being carried out and has not been halted,” he said.

“There’s reduced enforcement because the country is currently focusing on Covid-19. Anyway, food premises were not open (and customers were also not allowed to dine in the premises) in the past three months,” he said today.

He was commenting on complaints aired by the public about how many people were smoking again at eateries after the outlets were allowed to operate and dining-ins were permitted.

Noor Azmi, who is MP for Bagan Serai, was speaking to reporters while on a constituency visit. He presented donations as well as relief aid to residents affected by a storm in several villages near here yesterday.

He said the government would soon table a bill on tobacco control in Parliament. The draft was being scrutinised by the Attorney-General’s Chambers, he said.

Smoking was banned within food premises from Jan 1, with smoking only allowed three metres or 10 feet away from food premises and open-air restaurants.

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