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Smoking ban at all eateries stays
Published on: Thursday, November 15, 2018

Kuala Lumpur: The government will not compromise with the smoking ban in all restaurants, food outlets and hawker stalls as it involves public interest, says Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad.He said the government's directive to ban smoking at all eateries would stay despite the protests from restaurant operators and eatery owners who voiced dissatisfaction with the rules which would take effect in January.

"Well, while I fully understand where they are coming from but it's clear that our stand places the public as our priority and we are not ready to compromise in this issue.

"Smokers will have to find other places so that they can smoke as much as they want as it is none of our business. Our business is to ensure that public eateries are safe especially for children, the elderly and (pregnant) women as it will affect those around the smokers with passive smoking," he told reporters at the Parliament lobby Wednesday.

On Monday, three associations representing more than 20,000 eatery owners held news conferences to express their dissatisfaction with the move by the Health Ministry to enforce ban on smoking at food outlets effective Jan 1, 2019.

In another development, Dr Dzulkefly said the ministry was willing to consider the use of ketum leaves as an alternative method for medical purposes including treating drug addiction to replace methadone but it would require research to be carried out first and should not be implemented in a hurry. – Bernama



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