KUALA LUMPUR, August 31 — The average number of monthly smoking summonses issued in the first seven months of this year in Malaysia exceeded 2019.
According to Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin in a written August 3 Dewan Rakyat reply to Gopeng MP Dr Lee Boon Chye, 31,592 notices under Rule 11(1) of the Control of Tobacco Product Regulations 2004 were issued from January 1 to August 2 this year for lighting up in gazetted no-smoking areas.
This amounts to about 4,513 monthly tickets on average in the first seven months of 2022.
In 2019, when then-Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad introduced a ban on smoking in restaurants, including open-air eateries, 39,419 notices were issued at a value of RM9.8 million.
This equates to about 3,285 summonses a month.
During lockdowns in the Covid-19 pandemic, the number of smoking summonses fell to 27,821 in 2020 with a value of RM6.9 million, before dropping further to 12,652 summonses in 2021 with a value of RM3.15 million.
Under Rule 11(1), no one is allowed to smoke in all recreational centres and theaters, hospitals and clinics, lifts and public toilets, restaurants and air-conditioned shops, vehicles, and public transport stops, airports, and all areas specified by the minister through the news as specified under Rule 22. The only exception to this rule are pubs, discos, nightclubs, and casinos.