Materia Medica Malaysiana

September 29, 2004

109645948297372863

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 8:03 pm

M’sia slaps heavy penalties, fines for underaged smokers

KUALA LUMPUR (dpa) – Malaysia has announced it has amended its laws to allow for heavier penalties for smokers, including a hefty 1,000 ringgit (US$263.2) fine for those aged below 18 who are caught smoking, news reports said Tuesday.

The new amendments, which were tabled in parliament on Thursday, aimed to reduce the number of teenage smokers in the country, said Health Minister Chua Soi Lek.

“About 3.6 million smokers in Malaysia are youths and the government is targeting to reduce the number,” Chua was quoted as saying by the Star daily.

Youngsters caught lighting up now stand to face a fine of up to 1,000 ringgit, while those found to be selling cigarettes to teenagers will be slapped with a hefty 10,000 ringgit (US$2,632) fine, he said.

The new amendments also extended the list of non-smoking areas in the country to include public toilets, internet cafes, places of worship and school buses.

Previously, non-smoking areas included air conditioned shops and restaurants, learning institutions, government offices and shopping malls.

Chua also said those found displaying cigarette advertisements in their premises face a two-year jail term and fine of 10,000 ringgit.

The harsh new laws are part of the government’s plan to cut the high number of smoking-related diseases in the country such as heart and respiratory problems, said Chua

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