Sunday, June 28, 2015

Plans to increase cigarette prices, smoke-free zones, says health minister

Malaysia has adopted two strategies so that the country will eventually achieve a smoke-free zone, said Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam.

One is to increase, in stages, the smoke-free zones in the country and the other, to reduce the number of places where cigarettes are allowed to be sold, he said.

"These are two of the strategies to control and reduce the number of smokers.

“Eventually, we are hopeful that the country can be declared a smoking-free zone although we do not know when that can be realised.”

Subramaniam said another long-term measure was to raise the price as well as the duty on cigarettes.

He said that as a ministry responsible for maintaining the health of the people, it was only proper that greater restrictions on smoking be enforced at the ministry itself.

As such, he said, since the monitoring of and enforcement of restrictions on smoking were implemented at the ministry on May 1, 13 notices pertaining to offences and seven warnings had been issued.

All staff at the ministry who smoke had been instructed to attend programmes to give up the habit and staff who did not smoke were educated on the dangers of cigarette smoke, he said. – Bernama, June 24, 2015.

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