24 smokers fined in Penang heritage zone

GEORGE TOWN: Twenty four smokers who were caught lighting up in the heritage zone today have until Nov 19 to settle a RM250 fine for smoking in a smoke-free zone or risk being hauled to court.

The court summonses were issued against them by the Smoke Free Penang (Penbar) task force on their rounds at the zone which was gazetted a smoke free area in July 2015 under the Tobacco Product Control Regulations 2004.

A Penang Health Department statement said the 60-strong team drawn from various agencies also issued 20 (Penbar) notices to smokers.

The statement said the team checked 141 premises and found 256 smokers lighting up in the heritage enclave.

The statement said 10 smoking areas has been set aside for smokers in the the heritage site but the number will be reduced over time in a bid to help smokers kick the habit.

"The objective of Penbar is to provide an environment free from cigarette smoke which can provide a higher quality of life," the statement said.

Other than the heritage site, the gazetted smoke free zones in Penang comprise Taman Perbandaran, Penang Botanical Gardens, Air Itam Dam, Mengkuang Dam, Teluk Bahang Dam and the Ampang Jajar Park.