Beginning Aug 1, the minimum price of cigarettes will be increased from RM7 to RM9 a packet, Health Minister Dr S Subramaniam announced today.
He said the decision was made at a meeting of the Steering Committee for the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) that was held today.
"The minimum price will be increased to RM10 by Aug 1, 2016," he told reporters after chairing the meeting at his ministry in Putrajaya.
He also announced two new regulations involving smoking-prohibited zones, namely public areas and air-conditioned eating areas.
Subramaniam said from Jan 1, 2016, public parks, except open parking areas will be gazetted as smoking-prohibited places.
"In fact, several public places such as camping sites, observation towers, and canopy bridges in 35 national parks will also be gazetted as smoking-prohibited areas," he said.
He added that all air-conditioned eating places have already been declared as smoking-prohibited areas.
"Before, we allowed a third of air-conditioned eating places under Regulation 21 to be smoking areas. This has now been revoked," he said.
Subramaniam said the two new regulations would be enforced at the latest by Jan 1, 2016.
"The enforcement of the smoking ban in public and national parks would be carried out by forest rangers and related authorities," he added.