Malaysian vaping and tobacco regulations were always known to be strict. But this has taken a turn for the worse since January this year, now smoking and vaping in a Malaysian restaurant can cost you quite a bit. These businesses will indeed become exclusively non-smoking, which also means vape-free. Breaking these rules could lead to hefty fines, and even prison time up to 2 years. Malaysian authorities however have stated that the first 6 months of the roll-out will serve to raise awareness and educate.
This law was voted in by the Ministry for Health about 3 months ago. According to vice-minister Dr. Lee Boon Chye, this first stage of the regulation schedule will be educational rather than punitive. However those with repeated infractions under their name can be penalized immediately, before the end of the 6 month test period.
Heavy fines and prison sentences
Sanctions for those breaking the rules will come into force from January 1st, 2019, and will be severe. Smoking, vaping, or using a hookah in a banned location will be fined up to 10,000 RM, or 2,100€. These fines will require the smoker to be caught red-handed. Repeat offenders will risk a prison sentence up to 2 years. This will give Malaysian smokers and vapers something to think about…
And for restaurant owners who let their customers light up in their establishments, they can be fined up to 2,500 RM, or 524€. To smoke or vape in total, legal peace, you will have to stay at least 3 meters away from the business. So you won’t have to run too far from your dinner table to fire up.
Victoria has been an e-cigarette enthusiast since the first mechanical models. She brings her legal expertise of e-cigarette legislation in France and around the world.