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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Kids not exempted from penalty for puffing away

‘No Smoking’ zone offenders will be dealt with accordingly: Officer

MIRI: When it comes to smoking violation, the law does not discriminate between adults and minors.
Whoever contravenes at certain places or the Control of Tobacco Product Regulations 2004 will be dealt with accordingly.

“Regardless of age, those who got caught smoking in school or gazetted non-smoking areas will be fined,” warned a senior environmental health officer here, Simon Emang.

He said the authority would not hesitate to act against those flouting the regulation, whether or not they had a lighted cigarette in their hand.

Even if a cigarette stick was found in their trouser pockets or school bags, the offenders would be compounded for violating the Control of Tobacco Product Regulations 2004.

“Do not take age for granted because children will not be exempted from the penalty irrespective of where they get caught,” said Simon in an interview with the Borneo Post recently.

Last year, according to him, 16 minors (under 18 years old) were caught puffing away near their schools. All were boys.

The 16 were among the 70 smokers, including a woman in her 40s, apprehended during an ‘anti-smoking’ campaign by health enforcement officers.

“Forty of them were caught at Miri Hospital, three at shopping complexes, seven at a polyclinic, four at Miri Airport and the rest are minors,” said Simon who is from the Enforcement and Prosecution Unit of the Health Department.

The adult offenders were compounded RM250 each and the minors were fined RM50 each. Only 55 of

them had settled the compounds.

On their anti-smoking operations, Simon said they conducted 15 in this division throughout last year.

The division has 79 no-smoking areas. Among them are hospitals, clinics, shopping complexes, airports, government offices, service counters, air-conditioned restaurants, bus terminals and houses of worship such as churches, mosques and temples.

Tagged with: smoking social problem

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