New Act to ban smoking still at engagement stage - Khairy

03 Mar 2022 06:21pm
Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin at a media conference after opening the World Listening Day 2022 here today. -BERNAMA
Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin at a media conference after opening the World Listening Day 2022 here today. -BERNAMA
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SERDANG - The formulation of a bill to ban smoking and possession of smoking products including electronic cigarettes (vaping) for those born after 2005 is still in the engagement stage, said Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.

He said even though he hoped to table the new act in the current Parliament session, there are several engagement stages that have to be carried out including with non-government organisations and industry players.

"When all these processes have been completed, the act will be tabled whether during this session or a future session, he told a media conference after opening the World Listening Day 2022 here today.

Khairy on Feb 17 announced the introduction of an act aimed at reducing the exposure of the future generation to cigarettes and tobacco products because the consumption of tobacco products is the main cause of cancer, contributing 22 per cent of cancer deaths.

In another development, Khairy said the ministry is seeking legal advice at the appropriate time to table the report of the Independent Investigation Committee on the Sultanah Aminah Hospital (HSA) Fire, Johor Bahru to the public.

"It is my intention to table the report. There is no reason for us to keep it secret as we are looking for the right time,” he said.

In the fire on Oct 25, 2016, six patients died when the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) on the second floor of the five-storey building was on fire while another patient, two nurses and a physiotherapy trainee were injured after inhaling smoke.

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Asked on the lack of parking space at government health facilities, Khairy said the ministry is studying a proposal to build a multi-storey parking building to resolve the issue.

"This is a major issue. Since I was appointed as Health Minister, I have received many complaints on the matter. We are studying the multi-storey parking building proposal. It will be more comfortable for government hospital patients and visitors,” he said. - BERNAMA