Sunday, June 7

Tobacco Control Bill to be tabled in Parliament next year


KUCHING: The Ministry of Health is looking to table the Tobacco Control Bill in Parliament in the first quarter of next year.

Its minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said the Bill has been finalised and presented to the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC).

“We are almost at the end of discussion with the Attorney General and look forward to be able to table the Bill in Parliament before March next year.

“This new Bill not only addresses issues concerning tobacco but also e-cigarettes, vape, shisha and everything related to nicotine and tobacco. This is what we have been waiting for because it is a comprehensive act to address various related issues,” he told reporters when met after officiating the ‘Stop the Stigma Run’ at the compound of the old State Legislative Assembly (DUN) Building here yesterday.

The proposed Tobacco Control Bill mooted by the Ministry of Health is expected to streamline control and enforcement on all tobacco-related products and e-cigarettes, enforce the no-smoking zone ruling as well as address tobacco-related issues.

Meanwhile, Dr Dzulkefly said the ‘Stop the Stigma Run’ attracted closed to 1,000 participants despite the worsening haze condition which had resulted in the 4km and 12km runs being cancelled.

“This demonstrates the willingness and strong spirit of the community in wanting to collectively acknowledge the stigma and negative perception towards mental health.

“This message is very important because it is crucial that we stop the negative stigma on individuals suffering from mental health problems so that they have the courage to come forward and share their problems with their respective family members, friends or healthcare practitioners.”

Also present were Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian, Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii, Sarawak Health Department Dr Jamilah Hashim and SGH director Dr Chin Zin Hing.