KUALA LUMPUR (April 3): More public places will be gazetted as non-smoking areas to ensure that the country can achieve its target of becoming a smoke-free nation by 2045, says Deputy Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya.
He said the target, which would see the number of smokers in the country be reduced to less than 5%, would also ensure that all public areas in the country were free of any form of smoking activity.
“This is in line with the key principle of Article Eight in the World Health Organisation’s Tobacco Control Framework Convention (FCTC), where all public places are non-smoking areas,” he said during the question and answer session at the Dewan Rakyat today.
He was replying to a question from Datuk Seri Wee Jeck Seng (BN-Tanjong Piai) who wanted to know the outcome of the ministry’s efforts so far to enforce the smoking ban in public spaces towards achieving the target of becoming a non-smoking nation.
Hilmi said so far, there were 23 types of areas gazetted as a non-smoking areas under Regulation 11 of the Control of Tobacco Product Regulations 2004, and other areas gazetted under Regulation 22 of the same regulation, under the Smoke-Free City programme.
He said throughout the enforcement period, a total of 131,624 notices had been issued to those who committed the offence in prohibited areas, and as many as 58,872 compounds were issued.
He said in order to help individuals quit smoking, the ministry had established ‘mQuit centres’ at government-run healthcare facilities nationwide.
“The average success rate for smoking cessation programmes across Malaysia…those who sought treatment from July 2016 to June 2017 are 10,240 people, and the success rate is 36%,” he said.