• May 26, 2024

Let's be reasonable

 Let's be reasonable

Restaurant owners in Malaysia want to be able to reserve a few tables for customers who smoke, while anti-smoking groups want more-aggressive anti-tobacco measures in the wake of the Health Ministry’s announcement that it intends to gazette all open-air restaurants as no-smoking areas from December, according to a story by Loh Foon Fong for The Star.
The Malaysian Muslim Restaurant Owners Association president Ayoob Khan Muhamad Yakub, said smoking was bad, but, he added, restaurant owners could not chase away customers who wanted to smoke.
“The government should allow restaurant owners to have a few tables allocated for smokers, away from the other tables,” he said.
Ayoob hoped the ministry would consult municipal councils and the public on how the new regulations could be implemented.
Meanwhile, the National Cancer Society of Malaysia’s PR and communications assistant manager Mandy Thoo said 80 percent of Malaysians were non-smokers.
“Our cancer awareness programs and support activities for cancer patients and survivors reveal that many people have had enough of being exposed to second-hand smoke in public areas,” she said.
The society urged the government to adopt and implement a Tobacco Control Act.
Meanwhile, the secretary-general of the Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations’ (FOMCA) Malaysian Council for Tobacco Control (MCTC), Muhammad Sha’ani Abdullah, said the National Strategic Plan on Tobacco Control listed non-air-conditioned restaurants as the next target to be made non-smoking areas this year.
FOMCA urged the government to be more aggressive in promoting tobacco control measures because, it said, the country had not made much progress during the past 30 years, during which time smoking prevalence had been hovering between 21 percent and 23 percent.