BALIK PULAU – The health ministry will gazette all national parks nationwide to be smoke-free zones by year-end.
Health Deputy Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya said currently, 22 areas had been gazetted as smoke-free, including religious places, rest areas on the highways and education places, including universities.
The smoke-free zones will not only refer to cigarette smoke but also items which contain nicotine such as E-cigs, vape and shisha.
If smokers are caught smoking, they will be fined a minimum of RM250 and maximum of RM5,000 under the Tobacco Control Act 2004.
“We hope with this initiative, the number of active smokers can be reduced drastically as smoking does more harm than good,” he told reporters after the launch of ‘No Tobacco Day’ here in Teluk Bahang National Park today.
Meanwhile, under the ministry’s purview, all states are conducting a pilot project called ‘One Stop Centre For Addiction’ to help people stop all kinds of addiction, including drugs.
According to the state’s senior principal assistant director for non-communicable disease control, Dr Azizah Abd Manan, the pilot project is being conducted in Butterworth and thus far, public response has been encouraging. – BERNAMA