Wee warning smokers to abide by the law.

KUCHING: Smokers have been warned against lighting up at eateries.

Kuching South City Council (MBKS) mayor Datuk Wee Hong Seng said they should smoke at designated areas or further away.

“We don’t know when the Health Department will carry out spot checks and take action. If you (smokers) are caught and penalised, don’t complain.

“Please bear in mind, there is a standard operating procedure (SOP) that smokers need to follow.

“Go to the area that will not affect anybody and don’t throw cigarette butts indiscriminately,” he said after officiating at the Merdeka@Komuniti Kuching programme at MBKS Auditorium here today.

He said eatery and coffee shop owners should also play their part in ensuring their premises are smoking-free.

“I think shop owners have the right to advise them not to smoke and to respect non-smokers.

“It is not right and not fair to blame owners as they have already put up the ‘no smoking’ signs at their premises.

“I hope smokers and non-smokers will respect each other.”

The smoking ban has been in force since Jan 1 this year under Regulation 12 of the Tobacco Control Regulation 2004 (Amended) 2018.

An errant individual is subject to a compound of RM250.

For a first-time offender, the compound can be reduced to RM150 if payment is made at any district health office within one month from the date of issue.

As for the second offence, there will be no reduction and a full payment of RM250 will be imposed, while those committing third and subsequent offences, they will be charged with a higher compound of RM350.