Malaysia’s Health Minister: No authority to ban smoking nationwide, but responsibility to protect non-smokers

Malaysia’s health minister cannot make a national ban on smoking, but they will ensure that smoking does not harm non-smokers. Malaysia’s parliament passed the Health Commodities Control Act, which removed the policy banning people born after 2007 from smoking and replaced it with a ban on people under the age of 18 from buying cigarette goods.


According to the Klang media report on January 24, Health Minister Datuk Seri Zukifiri admitted that he could not make a national smoking ban resolution because he is not a religious department. He stressed that as Health Minister, it is his responsibility to ensure that smokers and smokers do not cause harm to non-smokers as smoking is harmful to their health.


Zukifiri also serves as the Integrity Party’s director of strategy. At the Integrity Party’s 2023 National Congress, the delegates responded to the Public Health Tobacco Product Control Act 2023. He apologized to party representatives for once again failing to include the “Generation Quit Smoking” (GEG) policy in the bill.


On June 30, the Public Health Tobacco Product Control Act 2023 passed three acoustic votes in the lower house of Parliament. However, it is important to note that the bill eliminates the original GEG policy that prohibits people born after 2007 from smoking and possessing cigarette commodities, rather than prohibiting people under 18 from purchasing cigarette commodities, cigarette substitutes, and smoking devices.