Second-Hand Smoke in Public Spaces: How Effective has Partial Smoke-Free Legislation Been in Malaysia?


Background: This study was performed to gather data on second-hand smoke (SHS) concentrations in a rangeof public venues following the implementation of partial Smoke-Free Legislation in Malaysia in 2004. Materialsand
Methods: PM2.5 was measured as a marker of SHS levels in a total of 61 restaurants, entertainment centres,internet cafés and pubs in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Results: Under the current smoke-free laws smoking wasprohibited in 42 of the 61 premises. Active smoking was observed in nearly one-third (n=12) of these. For premiseswhere smoking was prohibited and no active smoking observed, the mean (standard deviation) indoor PM2.5 concentration was 33.4 (23.8) μg/m3 compared to 187.1 (135.1) μg/m3 in premises where smoking was observedThe highest mean PM2.5 was observed in pubs [361.5 (199.3) μg/m3].
Conclusions: This study provides evidenceof high levels of SHS across a range of hospitality venues, including about one-third of those where smoking isprohibited, despite 8 years of smoke-free legislation. Compliance with the legislation appeared to be particularlypoor in entertainment centres and internet cafés. Workers and non-smoking patrons continue to be exposed tohigh concentrations of SHS within the hospitality industry in Malaysia and there is an urgent need for increasedenforcement of existing legislation and consideration of more comprehensive laws to protect health.