Smoking in Malaysia

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Smoking in Malaysia was first dealt with in legislation requiring a general warning message on all Malaysian cigarette packaging in 1976. Smoking bans in public places started to be implemented in the 1980s. Selling of cigarettes to persons under the age of 18 has been forbidden since May 14, 1994. Tobacco advertising was outlawed in 2003; since January 1995, showing cigarette packaging in advertisements had been forbidden, and print media advertising had been restricted to only one page.

Malaysia is ranked 71st in per capita cigarette consumption, with an average of 646 cigarettes smoked per adult annually.

Smoking doubled between the 1970s and 1995.[1]

Smoking is technically banned in hospitals/clinics, airports, public lifts and toilets, air-conditioned restaurants, public transport, government premises, educational institutions, petrol stations, Internet cafes, shopping complexes and private office spaces with central air-conditioning; however, enforcement is an issue and is often very lax, many simply ignore the rule.[2][3]

Starting 1 June 2010, it is an offence to smoke at private office spaces with central air-conditioning. Smokers flouting the ban may be fined up to RM10,000, or two years of imprisonment.[4]

At September 2016, the Ministry of Health of Malaysia aims to reduce numbers of smokers in Malaysia for over 15% as about 3 billion MYR was spent due to the increasing of chronic cancer.[5]

As of 1 January 2019, it is illegal to smoke in all restaurants and eateries in Malaysia. Additionally, owners of restaurants who fail do not display a no-smoking fine can face fines of up to RM3,000, or a prison sentence of six months.[6]


Out of Malaysia's 29 million population, the number of smokers is estimated to be 9 million or 23 percent.

Illegal cigarettes issue

Malaysia has now set the minimum price for legitimate cigarettes, which as of 2016, is MYR 17 and must have at least 20 sticks. Illicit cigarettes, however, can be sold at a lower price and can have fewer than 20 sticks in each pack. The number of legal cigarettes has declined due to illicit cigarettes since its peak in 2003.[7]

Trans-Pacific Partnership lobby

In 2013, Malaysia proposed exempting tobacco from the Trans-Pacific Partnership's trade protections.[8]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Smoking ban to be extended". The Star. June 17, 2007. Archived from the original on 22 June 2011. Retrieved 21 August 2010.
  3. ^ Status Of Tobacco Use And Its Control - Malaysia Report Card Archived 2009-02-05 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "No more puffing away at work". The Star. June 1, 2010. Archived from the original on 22 June 2011. Retrieved 21 August 2010.
  5. ^ "Ministry targets 15% fewer smokers by 2025 - Nation | The Star Online". The Star Malaysia. Retrieved 23 September 2016.
  6. ^ Buchanan, Kelly (2019-01-17). "Malaysia: Ban on Smoking in All Eateries Comes into Effect | Global Legal Monitor". Retrieved 2020-03-31.
  7. ^ Su-Lyn, Boo (30 July 2015). "Illegal smokes spike after price hike". Nation. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  8. ^ Zhang, Sarah. "It Just Got a Lot Harder for Big Tobacco to Defend Itself".

See also

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