Sandakan eateries comply with smoking ban since implementation
SANDAKAN: Starting January 1, this year customers who smoke at a food and beverages premises could be charged and issued with RM250 compound for the first and second offences, and RM350 for a third offence.
However, most eateries in Sandakan are not affected since the locals have been complying with the smoking ban since it was implemented in March last year.
Burhan Rustam, owner of Borhans Kebab in Sejati Walk Mile 7 here, said that customers had been complying with the smoking ban and the implementation of compound was not affecting his business.
“Of course there are cases; customers still smoke since their seats are outdoors, but after we tell them not to smoke, they understood. However, most of our customers who are smokers obey the smoking ban and would go to the parking lot a few metres from our restaurant to light their cigarettes,” he said.
Fara Ramsah, owner of Warkop (Warung Kopi) restaurant located in Bandar Prima, Mile 4 here opined the same.
She said that since March last year, all customers have been complying with the smoking ban even though compound could not be issued yet.
Hence, she did not feel a difference in her business this year.
“So far we never had a customer who would smoke at the premises. All customers understood the smoking ban, and we also have the ‘no smoking’ sign on the wall as required by the Ministry of Health,” Fara said.
Meanwhile, Mohd Khalid, owner of Adzie Restaurant and Catering located in Bandar Kim Fung, Mile 4 here, said that his business had been affected by the smoking ban since March last year, and this year is no different.
He said it was mainly because the restaurant had been designed to cater for customers who are non-smokers (air-conditioned) and smokers (outdoor).
After the smoking ban was implemented, the restaurant designated space now makes no difference.
“We do notice a reduction in customers. However, I do not blame it completely on the smoking ban. With the stagnant economy here, people have less spending power. They are more cautious when spending money; especially now that most people have spent a lot of money on their children’s school registration fees and school equipment,” Khalid said.
He added that the parking charge at Bandar Kim Fung that was implemented last year might also be one of the reasons people prefer not to stay long hours at a coffee shop or restaurants anymore.
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