A member of parliament (MP) is calling on the government to contemplate categorising restaurants for smokers and non-smokers.

Mumtaz Nawi (PN-Tumpat) raised the issue in the Dewan Rakyat, highlighting that despite numerous anti-smoking campaigns in the country, smokers persist in lighting up in restricted areas, particularly restaurants.

She emphasised that by having separate restaurants for smokers and non-smokers, the public, especially children and pregnant mothers, would be protected from exposure to second-hand smoke.

“The country has numerous anti-smoking campaigns, but the enforcement is lacking,“ she expressed during the committee-level debate on the budget.

“I suggest that the government work with local authorities to classify restaurants for smokers and non-smokers.”

She emphasised that the absence of distinct classifications makes it challenging for parents to decide which restaurants to take their children to, considering the potential presence of smokers.

Mumtaz also cautioned that non-smokers are at risk of confrontations with smokers when asking them not to smoke at eateries.

Last week, Health Director-General Radzi Abu Hassan reported that a total of 6,290 compound penalties, amounting to RM1,457,300, were issued last month under tobacco control regulations.

Out of 22,361 premises that were inspected, he said that there were 10,051 notices issued.

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