National legislation – Control of Tobacco Product Regulations 2004. Smoking is prohibited in a variety of places, including government buildings, schools, places of worship. Air conditioned eating places or shops, open-air stadiums, and air conditioned public transport terminals can designate one third of the area as a smoking zone. It needs to be partitioned and have a ventilation system. Non-airconditioned bars and restaurants are not smokefree.
The government has pledged to begin legislating for 100% smokefree public places. Malaysia has an action plan for legislation, yet to be approved by the Health Ministry. It will focus on eating areas (restaurants, coffee shops, bars, pubs and entertainment outlets), as well as government and private workplaces.
There are several subnational smokefree legislation/initiatives:
Smokefree Melaka State (SFM). Since June 2008 this project has –
a. Obtained the support of both the Federal and State Health office.
b. Received the agreement of the Chief Minister (CM)who is the Head of Melaka State.
c. Completed the Baseline survey. It was carried out by an external consultant who is in the final stages of preparing the survey report.
d. Made a presentation to the State Health Executive Committee for onward presentation to the State Executive Council for the adoption of the SFM plan and budget and the official announcement of SFM by the CM.
e. Worked with other contacts to enable the SFM proposal to be tabled at the State Council Meeting as soon as possible.
There is also Smokefree Penang initiative. The Clearing House for Tobacco Control (C-Tob) and National Poison Centre of Malaysia have initiated a project to push the State government into making Penang smokefree. It may begin by making Georgetown smokefree. Melaka and Georgetown are both UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Smokefree resources available in 2009
Melaka is working very closely with the State Health Office, building network with the local NGOs, local institutions of higher learning for their support. Once the official announcement is made, SFM will be able to garner more resources from the relevant government department and set up a one-stop centre/secretariat for SFM. SFM does not have a website and therefore have not promoted the initiatives elsewhere.
Smokefree Penang (SFP) is working with the Malaysian Trade Union Congress and receives a grant from the Malaysian Health Promotion Board.
SEATCA www.seatca.org Includes Asia Pacific Report Card: WHO FCTC Articles 6,8, 11 & 13 (October 2008).
Public education materials/implementation or enforcement materials
SFM will produce educational materials once the grant applied for is approved and /or the Federal / State Health Education unit agrees to undertake the printing of all the materials.
SFP has created a coffee table booklet which aims to increase awareness of the need for tobacco control policies, including smokefree.
Needs related to implementing smokefree policies
SFP needs more funding for public health campaigns, and is looking to collaborate with NGOs and government.
Factors helping or hindering the implementation of Article 8
Uncertainties in the global economy may make tobacco control a lower priority for governments.
Other countries that have influenced smokefree laws
First, say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do. Health Service Food and Human Resources: Duty free wholesale cigarettes