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Political will needed to enforce smoking ban
BY: SALIZA ELYA
In Malaysia, tobacco kills more than 27,200 people each year and an estimated 4.8 million people aged 15 and above in the country are smokers.
This dangerous addiction incurs significant costs to individuals and families and also adds up to major macroeconomic impacts affecting businesses, government and the health care system.
Ideally, Malaysia should start implementing stricter laws against cigarette use like what is happening now in New Zealand.
New Zealand’s new anti-cigarette law aims at eventually creating a smoke-free country.
While most developed countries have put a target of less than 5 percent smoking prevalence by 2025, Malaysia’s target is a dismal 15 percent by 2025 and less than 5 percent in 2040.
Malaysia must expedite the tabling of the Tobacco Control Bill – to regulate the use of tobacco and electronic cigarette products – in the next parliamentary sitting as this initiative has been postponed for nearly four parliamentary terms.
There must also be a ban of all e-cigarettes or vapes, of advertising of all tobacco products, and to raise the smoking age from 18 to 21, and to subsequently impose a generational ban on those born on and after 2009.
THE MALAYSIA VOICE
** The views expressed on this opinion is of the writer and not the publisher