Starting next month onwards, Batu Ferringhi will be declared a smoke-free zone.
According to the Sun, state health committee chairman, Dr Afif Bahardin said that this was a motion passed in line with the state’s clampdown on smoking.
Smokers should take note that the ban will apply in all “open spaces, beachfronts, eateries, beach clubs, food courts, resorts, bungalows and shopping complexes.”
Chairman Bahardin went on to say that non-smoking areas will include zones that cover the Floating Mosque, all the way to the Bayview Beach Resort along Jalan Batu Ferringhi.
However, Batu Ferringhi isn’t the only area that will implement this smoking ban.
Apparently, five other areas will be affected as well. Bahardin tells the Strait Times:
“After Batu Ferringhi, next will be Bayan Baru and Balik Pulau. As for the mainland, Bandar Sunway in Seberang Jaya, Bertam and Nibong Tebal will also be gazetted as smoke-free zones soon.”
Rest assured smokers, you will still be allowed to smoke in designated areas.
“There will be several designated areas for smokers to take a puff and most of the hotels do not allow smoking in the rooms too.”
You should also know that if you’re caught smoking in these non-smoking areas, you will be issued a compound between the range of RM250 to RM500!
But if you choose to not pay those compounds, the consequences will worsen:
“(You) can be brought to court and fined a maximum of RM10,000, or face up to two years in prison if found guilty.”
Chairman Bahardin announced this smoking ban to the public during the declaration of Batu Ferringhi as a smoke-free zone at SJK (C) Pai Chai in Jalan Batu Ferringhi last Saturday.
The public however, seems to think that the initiative will harm Penang’s growing tourism industry. A reflexology shop owner named Ah Hoe said:
“Tourists generate income for the industry and they want to do what they want on their holidays. Stopping them from smoking will definitely affect our business.”
A French tourist herself said that while the motion is a positive one, its implementation at a tourist spot might not be wise.
“If Batu Ferringhi is made a smoke-free area, many tourists will feel their freedom is restricted and they may avoid coming here.”
What do you guys think? Will making Batu Ferringhi a non-smoking area bring more benefits than consequences? Sound off in the comments below!
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