GEORGE TOWN: Those who smoke or vape in Malaysian eateries will be fined RM250 (S$82) from next year.
The sum will be reduced to RM150 if the offender settles the fine in less than a month, Malaysia’s deputy health minister said on Friday (Dec 20).
“If (people are) stubborn (and do not pay up), a fine of up to RM10,000 can be imposed,” Dr Lee Boon Chye said.
The Malaysian health ministry previously announced that smoking and vaping would be strictly prohibited in all eateries across Malaysia from January next year.
Dr Lee said the no-smoking movement over the past year had significantly reduced the number of smokers in eateries, especially in urban areas.
"We hope that this policy (will gain) lot of support from the public," he said, adding that 21 per cent of Malaysian adults smoked.
"For the non-smokers, of course, they are quite happy (but) for the smokers, I do hope that they would take this opportunity to quit smoking, reduce smoking - or at least have a habit to not smoke in front of other people."
The smoking ban at all food establishments, including those outdoors, took effect in January this year, but the government extended the grace period for offenders to December. This was to allow time to educate smokers and restaurant owners on the new rules.
Malaysian health officials said in October that they were considering a ban on the sale of electronic cigarettes, in light on growing reports of deaths in the United States linked to e-cigarettes and vaping.