Tobacco Control Laws
Malaysia became a Party to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control on December 15, 2005.
Smoke Free Places
Smoking is generally prohibited on public transportation. Smoking is prohibited in specified public places and workplaces listed in the regulations including, among others, in workplaces with a centralized air-conditioning system; health, education, government and cultural facilities; and indoor stadiums. Smoking is also prohibited on floors with a service counter in banks, financial institutions, National Telecom Company, National Energy Company, and post offices. Smoking is permitted in pubs, discotheques, nightclubs, casinos, in designated smoking areas in air-conditioned eating places and non-air-conditioned public transport terminals. Sub-national jurisdictions may enact smoke free laws that are more stringent than the national law.
Tobacco Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorship
Virtually all forms of tobacco advertising and promotion are prohibited. However, due to the lack of definition of “tobacco promotion” in the law, some forms of tobacco promotion may not be covered under the ban. All forms of tobacco sponsorship are prohibited.
Tobacco Packaging and Labelling
Rotating combined picture and text health warnings are required to occupy 50% of the front and 60% of the back of the package. The text of the warning is in Malay on the front panel and English on the back panel. Health warnings are not required on tobacco products other than cigarettes. Misleading packaging and labelling, including terms such as “light” and “low tar” and other signs, is prohibited.
Roadmap to Tobacco Control Legislation
In Malaysia, tobacco control is regulated under the Food Act of 1983. The Control of Tobacco Product Regulations 2004 were issued under the Food Act of 1983 and regulate, among other things, smoke free environments; tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship; and tobacco packaging and labelling. The 2004 Regulations have been amended several times, including: (1) Control of Tobacco Product (Amendment) Regulations 2008; (2) Control of Tobacco Product (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2009; (3) Control of Tobacco Product (Amendment) Regulations 2010; (4) Control of Tobacco Product (Amendment) Regulations 2011; (5) Control of Tobacco Product (Amendment) Regulations 2012; (6) Control of Tobacco Product (Amendment) Regulations 2013; (7) Control of Tobacco Product (Amendment) Regulations 2014; (8) Control of Tobacco Product (Amendment) Regulations 2015; and (9) Control of Tobacco Product (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2015. In addition, five notices – Declaration of Non-Smoking Area 2011, Declaration of Non-Smoking Area 2012, Declaration of Non-Smoking Area 2014 (P.U.(B)312), Declaration of Non-Smoking Area 2012 (P.U.(B)313), and Declaration of Non-Smoking Area 2015 – have been issued by the Minister of Health declaring specified additional buildings and places as smoke free.