Those caught smoking or vaping in parks in the Malaysian state of Selangor face a maximum fine of RM10,000 or up to two years’ imprisonment, according to a story in The Star.
The punishments will be meted out under the Control of Tobacco Product (Amendment) Regulations 2017, which came into force yesterday.
Selangor Health director Datuk Dr. Zailan Adnan said that enforcement would be carried out in stages.
“To gazette a park as a non-smoking area is a separate process, we need to know how big the park is and where the boundaries are,” Zailan said.
“We also need to start soft enforcement, to educate and inform the public.”
Besides parks, other gazetted non-smoking zones include shopping complexes, air-conditioned premises, government premises, hospitals and gas filling stations.
The bans are said to be in line with Malaysia’s aim to be a smoke-free nation by 2045.
Meanwhile, the Star said that, in the state of Perak, ‘those who light up at public and state parks face a RM5,000 fine’.
The Perak Health Committee chairman Datuk Dr. Mah Hang Soon said the ban on smoking would be enforced in part with spot checks, because ‘the element of surprise was key in deterring smokers from puffing away with no regard for the new law’.