KOTA KINABALU: City Hall will make the wet market area of the Central Market at Jalan Tun Fuad Stephen, here, a no-smoking zone.
“This will be our next step to improve the conditions in the city because smoke can affect the health of non-smokers, especially those who have respiratory problem,” said a spokesman from the agency’s Cleanliness and Environmental Health Department. He said the new regulation is not only to encourage smokers to kick the habit, but also to protect non-smokers from second-hand smoke.
“Of course smokers will say they have the right to smoke, but non-smokers also have the right to have smoke-free areas,” he added. He said his other concern is the safety of unsuspecting patrons who may get injured when his or her hand touches the lit cigarette by accident.
“This kind of accident is the last thing we want to hear happening in our markets,” he added.
The current Control of Tobacco Product (Amendment) Regulations 2017 prohibits smoking in 21 areas, including hospitals, public toilets, lifts, government premises as well as air-conditioned shops and offices. Others include parks and government premises.
Those caught smoking at prohibited areas can be fined RM10,000 or jailed for not more than two years.
Jessica, from Taman Fortuna, Jalan Penampang, suggested that the authorities enforce a non-smoking rule inside the KK wet market. “They should issue compounds to those who smoke inside the market as a deterrent for them not to repeat in future,” she added. She managed to take a photo of a smoker who apparently hid his right hand on the back but little did he know that his lit cigarette can injure an unsuspecting patron.
“I’m not sure whether this chap is a fish seller or a member of the public but the law should applies to all,” she added. She said the thick smoke had inconvenienced her while she was at the market to buy fish.
“I also hope City Hall will come down hard on those who spit on the walkway as well,” she added.