KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 16 – The Health Ministry is studying new areas to be made smoke-free zones before gazetting the areas, the Dewan Negara was told on Tuesday. Its Deputy Minister Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya said right now, the ministry was in the midst of discussions with the relevant agencies and non-governmental organizations for the purpose.
“The plan to add and extend new areas as no smoking zones was in line with Article 8 of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) to protect the public from secondhand smoke,” he said when replying a question from Senator Datuk Khairudin Samad who wanted to know the ministry’s measures to ensure the targeted number of smoke-free zones in the country would be achieved without negative public perceptions.
Dr Hilmi said the plan was included in the National Strategic Plan For Tobacco Control to make Malaysia a tobacco-free nation by 2045. He said the ministry had also encouraged public areas to join the smoke-free zone programme under the Blue Ribbon Campaign and also smoke free city programme.