People Can No Longer Smoke At M’sia’s Makan Places From 1 Jan 2019

Image: Phuong D. Nguyen /

If you’re a smoker, you’d probably love going to Malaysia, even for just a short while.

Over there, you don’t feel like you’re discriminated for smoking. You can smoke under shelter, you can smoke in coffee shops, etc.

But come Jan 2019, you’ll be singing a different tune.

Malaysia To Ban Smoking At All Makan Places

On 11 Oct, Deputy Health Minister Lee Boon Chye announced that from 1 Jan onwards, Malaysia is going to do something drastic.

They’re going to enforce a nationwide smoking ban on restaurants, coffee shops and hawker stalls across the entire country.

The ban will include:

  • Air-conditioned restaurants
  • Non-air-conditioned restaurants
  • Coffee shops
  • Open-air hawker centres
  • Street stalls

They’re also pushing for open-air restaurants to be included in the list.

What’s The Ban For?

There are two points to the enforced ban: One, so that smokers might want to quit smoking.

And two, to protect non-smokers from secondhand smoke.

“No doubt smokers will say they have the right to smoke, but non-smokers also have the right to have smoke-free areas.”

In case you’re not aware, secondhand smoke is bad for you: you’re 20% to 30% more likely to develop lung cancer and cardiovascular disease if you’re exposed to secondhand smoke.

So, looking at the bigger picture, it’s actually a step into the right direction.

What Happens If You’re Caught Smoking At These Places

If you’re caught smoking at prohibited areas, you’ll be fined RM10,000 (S$3,300). If you’re a business and caught not enforcing this rule, you’ll be fined RM2,500 (S$830).

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