June 05, 2011 16:56 PM
Five Zones Declared Smoke-Free Areas In Melaka
MELAKA, June 5 (Bernama) -- Five areas measuring a total of 338 hectares in Melaka were declared as smoke-free zones beginning June 15, Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said.
He said the areas are the Melaka world heritage city, Melaka Raya, Melaka International Trade Centre and the Alor Gajah and Jasin town centres.
Anyone caught smoking in any of the zones could be fined the usual RM300 although the maximum compound was RM5,000, he told reporters after opening the World Without Tobacco Day in Bandar Hilir, here on Sunday.
However, Liow said, any premises or areas in the five zones that were owned by individuals would be exempted from the ban.
He said Melaka, being the first state to gazette a large smoke-free area, showed that the state government and the ministry were serious to protect the public from the dangers of cigarette smoke especially women and children.
Liow said the ministry had gazetted 21 non-smoking areas such as in hospitals, in public transportations, educational institutions, shopping malls and stadiums.
He added that the ministry was also embarking on a campaign against non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, heart attack and various types of cancer that were caused by smoking.
Liow hoped that the implementation of the smoke-free zone could attract more tourists to Melaka.
He also said that almost RM1 million in compounds were issued from January to April this year for various offences under the Control of Tobacco Product Regulations 2004, where RM756,988 had been paid by the offenders.