The outdoor public area in Tanah Rata, Cameron Highlands, has been declared as a smoke-free zone recently. Regional Environmental Awareness of Cameron Highlands (REACH) president Ramakrishnan Ramasamy said the smoke-free campaign was in cooperation with the Cameron Highlands District Council (MDCH).
“Smoking is your own personal habit, but it affects so many other people. “People other than smokers also like to sit and enjoy the cool air that Cameron Highlands has to offer,” he told The Rakyat Post, adding that smokers can still have their cigarettes at special designated areas. He said the smoke-free ruling would become a law once it is gazetted by the Pahang state assembly within this year.
Once gazetted as law, those who flout the smoke-free zone ruling can be fined RM250.
A survey done prior to the setting up of the smoke free zone saw 83% out of 1,000 people surveyed, supporting the effort.
He said people were increasingly aware that smoking is a danger not only to smokers, but the people who inhale second-hand smoke.
Ramakrishnan added that people were also beginning to realise that smoking was a financial burden to the healthcare system.
“REACH has been advocating for the smoke-free zone for a long time, and finally things are moving ahead.
He said REACH would be mobilise its volunteers to reach out to the public, especially business operators, to explain about the need for the smoke-free zone, to help them prepare for the changes ahead. “We want to work with businesses and consult with them to ensure this important reform is introduced and implemented effectively,” he said.
Ramasamy said the smoke-free zone would also be implemented in other parts of Cameron Highlands, such as Brinchang, in the near future.