NO SMOKING: Plans under way for more non-smoking areas
THE Johor Health Department appreciates the comments of A.R. Ismail in his letter "There are laws, but no enforcement" (NST, May 28.)
We thank him for the concern over non-smokers being affected by the bad habit of smokers in public areas.
Since the Control of Tobacco Product Regulations came into force in 1993, the Johor Health Department has been scheduling enforcement raids at gazetted non-smoking premises, including rest and recreation areas.
There are 21 gazetted places where smoking is prohibited. As for R&R areas, only the public toilet has been gazetted as a prohibited area for smoking.
Open food courts, public car parks and fruit stalls are not gazetted, thus enforcement is not applicable.
Last year, 6,470 summonses were issued for offences related to Control of Tobacco Product Regulations 2004. From January till April, 3,142 summonses were issued for offences under the regulations.
Since 2010, the Johor state government, in collaboration with the Johor Health Department, has embarked on an initiative to protect non-smokers through a programme called Johor Bebas Asap Rokok.
Through this initiative, the state is embarking on gazetting public places to be included in places where smoking is strictly prohibited under the regulations.
Dr Mohd Khairi Yakub, director, Johor Health Department, Johor Baru, Johor