Pelita Samudra Pertama (M) Sdn Bhd (Pelita) executive director Datuk K. K. Sihabutheen at Pelita’s Chai Leng branch in Perai, Penang today. Pix by NSTP/Rosli Ahmad

BUTTERWORTH: Malaysia’s largest nasi kandar restaurant chain officially stopped selling cigarettes at its premises nationwide, yesterday.

Pelita Samudra Pertama (M) Sdn Bhd (Pelita) executive director Datuk K. K. Sihabutheen said that following a discussion with its cigarette distributor, both parties agreed to terminate their agreement on tobacco sales at Pelita’s 28 outlets.

“All Pelita restaurants are now smoke-free and we are also not selling cigarettes anymore. It was a friendly termination (of the agreement) and no compensation was required.

“(There is) no point selling cigarettes if our restaurants are now no-smoking areas. (But) our customers are happy with this,” he said when met at Pelita’s Chai Leng Park outlet here, today.

Sihabutheen admitted that the number of customers visiting Pelita’s outlets has declined since the smoking ban was implemented, but he remains positive that patrons will return.

He also revealed that Pelita had been selling RM300,000 worth of cigarettes per month at all its outlets.

“(But) cigarettes are (a bonus). It is not our core business,” Sihabutheen added.

The smoking ban at all food premises was gazetted on Dec 31 and took effect at midnight on New Year’s Day.

The ban was in line with the Control of Tobacco Product Regulations (Amendments) 2018 Act to protect the public from exposure to cigarette smoke.

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