Malaysian health promotion board (MySihat) smoke-free city initiative
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Malaysian Health Promotion Board, Ministry of Health Malaysia, Malaysia
Publication date: 2018-03-01
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A703
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Background and challenges to implementation:
Malaysia became a signatory to the WHO-FCTC on 23 September 2003 and ratified on 16 September 2005. National comprehensive smoke-free laws are ideal to protect the citizens from exposure to second hand smoke but are still a work in progress by the Ministry of Health. Nonetheless, regulatory measures have been introduced to protect people from exposure to tobacco smoke through sub-national jurisdictions that ban smoking in public places the Control of Tobacco Product Regulations 2004 under the Food Act 1983. Under this provision, no-smoking ban has been expanded to 23 public spaces. Hence, states, city and local authorities can adopt laws or other available legal instruments to prohibit tobacco smoke in public places under their respective by-laws.

Intervention or response:
Under this purview, MySihat together with partner organisations are championing the smoke-free city initiatives in Malaysia. The objective is to protect the public from second-hand smoke by implementing effective smoke-free policies, in line with provision of Article 8, WHO-FCTC.

Results and lessons learnt:
The effort involves persuading the stakeholders, facilitating the plan of actions, building the capacity of organizations including NGOs as well as empowering our people to voice their rights for cleaner air. Legal instruments will not be effective without assertive self-enforcement and education by the public.The smoke-free cities initiative started with Melaka in 2010, followed by Johor, Penang, Kelantan, Terengganu, Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Sabah, Sarawak and Selangor.

Conclusions and key recommendations:
The initiative should encompass the advocacy, capacity building, networking, law and enforcement, quit smoking service as well as monitoring and evaluation measures. All of these would not be meaningful without the ownership of the programm by the state and local goverments, backed by the support from public, private and non-governmental sectors. MySihat envisage a Smoke-Free Malaysia by 2045 as outlined by the National Strategic Plan for Tobacco Control and a healthier future for our younger generation.

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