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Consider whipping, higher fine for errant smokers

The Consumers Association of Subang and Shah Alam, Selangor (Cassa) throws its support behind the Health Ministry's call to expand public non-smoking areas to include public parks, food outlets and business premises as part of the smoke-free campaign.

Cassa is extremely glad to hear that the Health Ministry is in the midst of reviewing its proposal to ban smoking in all entertainment outlets too.

This move has already received tremendous support among members of the public in the US, Europe, Britain, Australia and New Zealand. Our own neighbor Singapore has a fantastic success story in this area as well.

We also appeal to our beloved Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to take the anti-smoking drive to new heights by showing the administration's seriousness in only selecting non-smoking candidates for the next general election expected to be between November 2007 and June 2008.

In view of the data available that smoking is the cause of more than 30 percent of cancer in the country, we appeal for better and more comprehensive sanctions and fines for those caught smoking in public places. Perhaps higher fines and whipping should also be considered.

The writer is Cassa president .