Datuk Sebastian Ting
KUCHING: The government should formulate guidelines to regulate smoking in a controlled environment to ensure it does not have an adverse health impact on others.
The relevant authorities need to start imposing strict bans and fine those caught smoking at public areas including workplace, five-foot ways, open-air eateries, coffee shops and places where there are street hawkers, said Datuk Sebastian Ting (SUPP-Piasau) when debating on the Supply (2019) Bill, 2018 at the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting here Thursday.
Ting acknowledged that it is entirely up to a person whether he or she wants to smoke or not, but that person should be mindful of non-smokers as they too have a right to clean air. He was pleased to note that Dewan Bandaraya Kuching Utara (DBKU) is in the process of gazetting a law to prohibit people from lighting up in identified smoke-free public areas.
It is my hope that other local authorities will also follow DBKUs initiative and one day we can have smoke-free public areas for the whole of Sarawak. Hopefully, this will also encourage smokers to kick their habit, ensuring a healthier lifestyle for our people and cleaner environment with fewer cigarette butts being thrown around indiscriminately, he added.
Ting said it is common knowledge that there are many non-smokers, pregnant mothers, infants and young children becoming victims of second-hand smoke.
I am extremely concerned of the adverse health effect second-hand smoke has on childrens health. Studies have also indicated that a non-smoker inhaling second-hand smoke is 30 per cent more likely of suffer lung cancer, stroke and many other types of cancer compared to the smoker.
Infants and children will experience more frequent and severe asthma attacks and respiratory infections, said Ting.
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