Fellow Penangites, if you’ve always been a health enthusiast, you guys would already be aware of the dire consequences that come with smoking. Today, we’re here to let you guys know that Penang will soon declare Batu Ferringhi as a smoke-free area. Yes, Batu Ferringhi, the land of sandy and pristine beaches as well as a food paradise for both locals and tourists.
Batu Ferringhi To Be The First Smoke-Free Area in Penang
Let’s take a quick dive into the timeline of Penang’s smoke-free initiative:
TheStar reported that Penang aims to be smoke-free in the next 5 years. The smoke-free areas would include most of the public areas and smoking would be banned in public areas nationwide.
In line with last year’s initiative, effective 1st January 2019, smoking is banned across all eateries and hawker centres. Law breakers can be fined up to RM 10,000 for those who smoke in public eateries while RM 2500 for owners of the eateries.
This year, September 2019, Penang’s smoke-free plan will first be implemented for Batu Ferringhi areas, starting from Penang Floating Mosque and end at Bayview Beach Resort along Jalan Batu Ferringhi.
According to Penang’s health committee chairman Dr Afif Bahardin, “Smokers are not allowed to take a puff at non-designated smoking areas in hotels, resorts, restaurants, sports and recreation centres, relaxation centres, spas and even on the beach.” Smokers would be fined up to RM 10,000 for breaking the law as well.
However, there will be designated areas for smokers to take a puff. In addition to that, “an application to the Health Ministry to gazette Batu Ferringhi as a smoke-free zone” will be sent and should take up to 3 or 4 months to be approved.
Public’s Opinion Of Declaring Batu Ferringhi As A Smoke-Free Zone
Some locals have stated their disagreement with this new initiative. Reported by TheStar, here are some of the locals who have voiced out their concerns:
“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. The beach is an open area, how can you stop people from smoking there?” Ah Hoe, reflexology shop owner.
“We have customers who smoke including women. They like to take a puff while chilling along the beach after their meals, ” K. Ratha, 58, Food Operator.
“All my friends in England gave up smoking as it is harmful to our health, ” British tourist.
So, what do you guys think of this initiative? Would this be a good start to introduce a much healthier nation? Or would it affect the tourism industry? Let us know in the comments!
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