What Young Malaysians Really Think About The Smoking Ban — Their Answers Might Surprise You

A few weeks ago, word got out the government was planning on a smoking ban in restaurants. We didn’t think much of it because realistically, it would be quite hard to implement and be kept in check. Boy, were we in for a surprise!

According to The Star, smoking in all restaurants, coffee shops and hawker centres will be banned nationwide starting next year — even in open-air eateries.

Gasp! Will our mamak sessions ever be the same again?

Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye announced the ruling after opening a conference at the Asian Institute of Medicine, Science and Technology in Kedah yesterday. He added that the ruling was not only to encourage smokers to kick the habit, but also to protect non-­smokers from the effects of secondhand smoke.

“We are ready to face objections from smokers and restaurant owners, but we will not compromise when it comes to looking after the health of the people.

“No doubt smokers will say they have the right to smoke, but non-smokers also have the right to enjoy their food without being harmed by cigarette smoke.”

Here are what some young Malaysians think of the new ruling;

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What are the solutions for smokers then?

“While I applaud the Government for taking the initiative to better our country, I think that banning outdoor smoking will not only affect businesses but it would be very difficult to curb this habit. Not only are there tons of eateries in Malaysia but most of them run 24 hours, how is the government/law enforcement supposed to keep an eye on everyone to make this change? Also, exactly where are the smokers supposed to smoke? Has there been an announcement regarding designated smoking areas?”

— Meghan Angelica Paul, CLEO Malaysia Web Writer

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