Control of Smoking Products for Public Health Bill 2023

Written by Richard Wee, Fatin Ismail and Lim Zhi Ying

Introduction

On 12 June 2023, the Ministry of Health (MOH) tabled The Control of Smoking Product for Public Health Bill 2023 in the Parliament. The bill includes the generational endgame (GEG) smoking ban, which bans tobacco sales to those born on 1 January 2007, or later.

Smoking: A Criminal Offence In Malaysia? 

Those who are born on 1 January 2007 onwards shall not smoke any tobacco product. An offender is liable to a fine not exceeding five hundred ringgit or be ordered to perform community service pursuant to the Criminal Procedure Code or the Child Act 2001.

Vendors Be Aware!

Sale of Tobacco Products

It is an offence to sell tobacco products or to provide any services for smoking to those who are born on 1 January 2007 onwards. 

Requirement for Registration

All tobacco products, smoking substances or substitute tobacco products shall be registered under this Act before being imported, manufactured or distributed by any person. Application has to be made to the Director General for registration. 

No advertisement 

No person shall publish or facilitate any person to publish any advertisement of a tobacco product, smoking substance or substitute tobacco products. Promotion and sponsorship of tobacco products are also prohibited. 

Prohibition of tobacco product, etc, as a gift or prize

Any tobacco product, smoking substance or substitute tobacco product shall not be sold together with any coupon, reward, goods, offer or services as a gift or prize. 

Price, Packaging and Labelling 

The retail price or minimum selling price of any tobacco product, smoking substance or substitute tobacco product shall be in accordance with the price and conditions as prescribed. Besides that, the packaging and labelling requirements must be as prescribed.

Non-smoking area 

No person shall smoke at the non-smoking area. This offence warrants a fine not exceeding five thousand ringgit. 

The proprietors of buildings have a duty to display a warning sign of prohibition of smoking in the form as prescribed. They shall take all reasonable measures to prevent any person from smoking in the building or area and not provide any smoking equipment or facilities or any method intended to encourage any person to smoke. 

What an authorised officer can do when enforcing the Act? 

  • To investigate. 
  • To enter premises at any reasonable time for the purposes of inspecting tobacco products, inspecting any goods or equipment that may be involved in the production of tobacco products, collecting samples or examining and seizing any document that contains information related to tobacco products. 
  • To take samples. 
  • To open packages and examine tobacco products, etc. 
  • To stop, search and seize conveyance. 
  • Access to recorded information, computerised data. 
  • Seizure of things. 
  • To require attendance of a person acquainted with the case. 
  • To examine the person acquainted with the case. 

Conclusion

Despite the 2023 Bill which claims to promote public health, its effectiveness is yet to be assessed. After analysing its effectiveness, the Director General has to submit a periodic report to the minister every five years. 

Published on 7 August 2023

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