Ban cigarette sales near schools, say experts

Ban cigarette sales near schools, say experts

Date : 01 February 2019

Reported by : dsh

Category : News


PETALING JAYA: Malaysian youths are at risk of picking up smoking with a significant number of tobacco retailers located in close proximity to schools.

A survey showed that 54% of tobacco retailers in Malaysia were found to be within a 1km radius from schools.

International Islamic Univer­sity Malaysia’s Department of Pharmacy Practice Assoc Prof Dr Mohamad Haniki Nik Mohamed noted that about 41% of tobacco retailers within close proximity of schools were convenience stores, independent groceries (32%) and eateries (27%).

He said research had also shown that the smoking rate among youths tend to be higher in areas with higher density of tobacco advertisements such as points-of-sales graphics seen at these retailers.

Malaysian Council for Tobacco Control secretary-general Muhammad Sha’ani Abdullah said having a large number of retail outlets located closely to schools would increase the prevalence of youth smoking.

He noted that the Asean Tobacco Control Atlas report released last year stated that half of youth smokers who bought cigarettes in a store were not refused purchase despite their age.

“Tobacco control strategies must focus on non-smokers, especially children and minors, so that they cannot easily obtain tobacco products through physical access and affordable pricing.

“Preventing new smokers is the easiest and most effective in tobacco control,” he said.

He said that in general, schools were among the contact points in which youths start smoking due to peer influence and pressure.