Smoking – Act against civil servants

The Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) welcomes the news that the Penang state government is going to beef up enforcement on smokers in public places – beginning with civil servants in government departments and agencies.

The state government is also planning to extend the areas where smoking is prohibited, including Penang’s most popular recreation areas such as the Botanical Gardens, the
Penang National Park and Penang Hill.

Those in civil service should set the example. It is a mockery of the law if government servants are openly puffing away in gazetted no-smoking zones and getting off scot-free. Enforcement must be stepped up in all states and offenders should be booked.

To take it a step further, CAP calls on the Federal Government to make it a condition that any new applicant for a Government job be a non-smoker. The Government could first make a public announcement that smokers will not be considered for government jobs. All applicants could then be made to declare on the application form that he/she is indeed a non-smoker.

The Government could also go all out to ensure that the staff currently in public service, especially those serving in the police force, the armed forces and also in the Ministry of Health, do not smoke. Those who are already smokers could be required to seek immediate treatment at the Government clinics which offer “quit smoking” services.

The rest of the nation will emulate the good example set by civil servants.

Press Statement, 23 April 2009