Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Smoking ban ‘breath of fresh air’ for Malaysians

Smoking ban ‘breath of fresh air’ for Malaysians

Smoking ban ‘breath of fresh air’ for Malaysians

Cigarette smoke no longer gets in the eyes of non-smokers, including pregnant women and children, since the smoking ban at eateries went into effect on Tuesday.

Besides the fresher air, eateries are now a safer place for them, especially those suffering from asthma.

Bank worker Caryn Lai, 33, who is pregnant with her second child, said usually there would be someone smoking whenever she frequented coffee shops.

“But over the past few days, I really don’t see anyone smoking. I am so glad,” she said.

Lai, who is from Cheras, said previously, she found it difficult to shield her three-year-old daughter from second-hand smoke.

“You could not randomly ask people not to smoke. I could just try to move my daughter farther away from the smokers. I would also try my best to finish my food as fast as possible,” said Lai.

Exposure to second-hand smoke is found to increase a mother’s risks of pre-term delivery and intrauterine growth restriction, a condition which will see the foetus smaller than expected.

Paediatric doctor Dr Ho Jien Yeen, who used to suffer from childhood asthma, said the ban was definitely good news for asthma patients as second-hand smoke was especially harmful to them.

“Tobacco smoke is a powerful trigger for asthmatic symptoms. I was more sensitive towards second-hand smoke when I was younger.

“Even now, if I am exposed to too much second-hand smoke, I could suffer an asthma attack,” she said.

Dr Ho said second-hand smoke also increased the risks of children developing asthma.

“Adults who are health-conscious know how to distance themselves from second-hand smoke.

“But young children would just stay near smokers without knowing that they are breathing in substances that are detrimental to their health,” she said.

“Children who are hospitalised for wheezing have higher risks of developing asthma.”

Investment analyst Chong Shin Wai, who does not smoke, said he now had more places to go to enjoy good food.

“With the smoking ban and stringent enforcement, I can now visit those coffeeshops to enjoy good food. I have more options,” he said.

He suggested that the government not rush into extending the ruling.

“Instead of extending the ban to more places, the government should focus on enforcement in existing areas. Extending the ban will make enforcement more difficult. Maybe the government should extend it in stages,” he said.

According to the Health Ministry, from Tuesday to Friday, 6,026 official warning notices were issued to individuals for disobeying the ban in eateries.

Some 32,669 pamphlets have also been distributed while 31,508 people were given advice.

A total of 12,243 eateries were inspected.

The smoking ban at all food premises began on Tuesday under Regulation 11 of the Control of Tobacco Product Regulations (Amendments) 2018.

After a six-month grace period, anyone found guilty of the offence can be fined up to RM10,000 ($2,426) or sentenced up to two years in prison. The Star (Malaysia)/ANN

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Pesticide-laden cucumbers’ kill two, poison 150 in Banteay Meanchey

    At least two youths have died and 243 others are being treated for vomiting, diarrhoea, breathing difficulties, dizziness and muscle weakness after they ate cucumbers suspected to consist of pesticides. The incident happened on Saturday, said Banteay Meanchey provincial police chief Ath Khem. He told The

  • Three dead, 13 injured in collapse at Siem Reap pagoda

    At least three people were killed and more than 10 others injured on Monday after a dining hall under construction collapsed at Prasat Kokchak pagoda in Kokchak commune, Siem Reap province. Provincial police chief Tith Narong said Military Police, soldiers and local volunteers had successfully recovered 16

  • Kingdom’s domestic milk still cannot compete with imports

    Price competition and a lack of confidence by consumers are the main reasons the dairy market cannot compete with imports, said domestic milk producers. The large displays of imported fresh milk at the Kingdom’s supermarkets present a cumbersome obstacle for local producers, they said.

  • China Unicom enters Cambodia

    China Unicom, the country’s largest telecoms operator, has expanded into Cambodia to build optical telecommunication pathways in the Kingdom as part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The Hong Kong-listed company officially opened its China Unicom (Cambodia) subsidiary on Monday to become the

  • PP-SHV Expressway on track for completion in early 2023

    The construction of the $1.9 billion Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway, which broke ground at the end of March, is on track to be completed by early 2023, Ministry of Public Works and Transport spokesman Vasim Sorya said on Monday. The 190km high-speed highway linking the capital to the

  • Forest Harmony’s $18M luxury villas break ground in Kampot

    Local and French joint-venture Forest Harmony has broken ground on its $18 million “second-home” Luxury Holiday Villas project in Kampot province. Century 21 Mekong CEO and local shareholder of the project Chrek Soknim told The Post that the project will comprise 90 villa units covering 18ha on a 97