KUALA LUMPUR (July 27): Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin on Wednesday (July 27) tabled Malaysia's Tobacco Product and Smoking Control Bill 2022 for the first reading in the Dewan Rakyat to introduce a generational endgame law, which will, among others, prohibit the smoking of cigarettes among persons born in 2007 and after.
“The second reading (debate) and third reading will be done in this (current Dewan Rakyat) meeting," Khairy said.
According to the Bill, the approved law may be cited as the Control of Tobacco Product and Smoking Act 2022.
If it is passed into law, those born from Jan 1, 2007 can be fined up to RM5,000 if they buy, smoke or possess smoking-related products like cigarettes or vape products.
And any person caught selling tobacco or vape products to those born from Jan 1, 2007 can be fined up to RM20,000 and/or jailed up to one year for the first offence, followed by a fine of up to RM30,000 and/or jailed up to two years for subsequent offences.
Companies caught doing so will be liable to a fine of at least RM20,000 — but not exceeding RM100,000 — and/or its representatives can be jailed up to two years for the first offence. For subsequent offences, the company can be fined at least RM50,000 — but not more than RM300,000 — and/or its representatives can be jailed up to three years.
The Bill also stipulates that smoking in non-smoking areas or places is prohibited, and that offenders can be fined up to RM5,000.
Under the Bill, building owners and occupiers have a duty to display no-smoking signs and are prohibited from providing "smoking equipment, facilities or any method intended to encourage any person to smoke". They are also to take all reasonable measures to prevent any person from smoking inside the building or vehicle. Those found violating this can be fined up to RM5,000.
Meanwhile, the police are authorised to enter premises to take samples for investigation, and are given the power to open any baggage, package, or any forms of container and may examine any tobacco product, smoking substance, substitute tobacco product, smoking device or their imitations.
Another important aspect of the proposed law is that the Health director general has full power in approving and cancelling approval for tobacco or substitute tobacco products.
The proposed law aims to "provide for the registration of tobacco products, smoking substance or substitute tobacco products, the control of advertisement, promotion and sponsorship, sale and purchase of tobacco products, smoking substance, substitute tobacco products or smoking devices, and the prohibition of the smoking of tobacco products or substitute tobacco products, and the prohibition of the use of smoking devices, by any person that was born in 2007 onwards and for related matters".
On Monday, it was reported that the proposed Control of Tobacco Product and Smoking Act 2022 was adjusted to cover persons born after 2007, instead of 2005.
Khairy said in a Twitter update at the time that the adjustment was targeted to give the government more time to develop a more comprehensive plan to implement the law.
On Wednesday, he wrote a Facebook post asking readers to imagine that one day, those born in the years from 2007 will not know what a cigarette is. "That is the goal of the generational endgame," he added.
For more Parliament stories, click here.