KUALA LUMPUR - The Health Ministry is drafting a new anti-tobacco law that will sweep away cigarette displays commonly seen behind cashier counters.
It will also target the advertisements of lifestyle products that are related to cigarette companies.
Deputy Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Helmi Yahaya said the drastic action was necessary because thousands of hard-core smokers in the country have been unable to kick the habit despite the Government's efforts so far.
Special clinics set up to help have not been successful, with most of the 5,000 hard-core smokers finding it hard to quit because tobacco use was still being promoted, he said.
"What we need to do now is impose a point-of-sale display ban," he said at the "Break Free from Smoke, a Healthier Mouth, a Healthier You" event.
Drafting the new law would take some time, and he could not specify when the draft would be ready.
Malaysia has 3.1 million smokers and 0.2% were hard-core.
While the hard-core smokers had difficulty beating the addiction, Dr Hilmi said, more than 100,000 social or light smokers were able to quit each year.