KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 23 -- The government is planning to reduce the RM250 fine imposed on those who were caught smoking in prohibited areas to RM150 if early payment is made.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said the enforcement of no-smoking regulations at food premises was not merely to punish the offenders but most importantly to educate them.
“Some 20,000 Malaysians die annually due to smoking-related illnesses such as cancer. This is why I’m taking this action.
“...I don't want passive smokers to suffer negative health effects," he told reporters after launching the third phase of the Etiqa Free Mammogram Programme, held in collaboration with the National Cancer Society of Malaysia here today.
Effective January 1, 2019, a smoking ban was enforced at all restaurants and stalls nationwide regardless of whether the premises are enclosed or open by the roadside.
A RM250 compound fine is slapped on those who fail to comply and if they fail to pay the compound, they can be charged in court where they are liable for a maximum fine of RM10,000 or two years in jail.
On the programme, Dr Dzulkefly said it would be carried out by selected hospitals in the peninsula which would provide 6,000 free breast cancer screenings to underprivileged women over the age of 40 involving an allocation of RM2 million.
By Mohamad Syazwan Mustafa
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