LETTER | The Malaysia Singapore Coffee Shop Proprietors’ General Association (MSCSPGA) is shocked at the Tobacco and Smoking Control Bill 2022 tabled by the health minister for first reading in Parliament recently.
The bill will annihilate the entire coffee shop sector in the country as it prohibits those born in 2007 and after from working in any shops that sell cigarettes.
A service industry like ours relies on young workers for business continuity as they are agile and hardworking. With this, we will no longer be able to recruit new and young workers while having trouble retaining our current ones when they pass the age of retirement.
In addition, operators will be fined up to RM30,000 or imprisonment up to three years or both for selling cigarettes to those born after 2007. We will need an additional workforce to enforce it, but the same bill prevents us from hiring the future generation. This makes life even harder for coffee shop operators encountering staff shortages and a competitive illegal cigarette market.
The interest of good taxpayers like us was not considered, while smugglers get to profit from all this.
The government should remain cautious as the illegal cigarette market will continue to rise once this policy comes into effect. Instead, a nationwide education campaign on cigarettes should continue in a bid to create awareness among the younger generation.
MSCGPA pleads with the health minister to properly reconsider the bill as it criminalises consumers of legal age, killing the entire coffee shop sector and forcing consumers to smoke illegal cigarettes.
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