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.

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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).

So if you or your smoker friends go to JB often, you might want to let them know of this ruling.

After all, you don’t want to go into JB looking for some fun and laughter. Then, you get into trouble with the police for breaking a law, do you?

The government is also looking to lead by example and promise to remove the smoking room in the Parliament by this month end.

Meanwhile, Singapore is Going About It In A Few Different Ways

Singapore is dealing with the smoking issue in a few different ways.

One, by implementing new laws, such as the revised minimum age of smoking in Singapore.

Two, by installing new gadgets meant to catch smokers in action. Have you heard about the new thermal cameras that will be deployed to catch smokers soon?

And three, through education. It was found that six Singaporeans die from smoking-related diseases every. Single. Day.

And that if you smoke menthol, it’s actually more harmful than smoking reds?

One thing’s for sure, it might be time to quit smoking if you’re a smoker because more and more countries are going to start going down hard on smokers.

I wouldn’t be surprised if one day, smokers as a whole are considered contraband.

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