The Ministry of Health will propose legislation to ban persons under 21 years of age from buying, using and possessing tobacco products, The Straits Times reported.
The ministry plans to table a proposal within a year that calls for a phased in ban, the newspaper said on its website. The current legal smoking age is 18. Similar laws have been adopted in Sri Lanka and some parts of the United States, according to Straits Times.
The Royal Malaysian Customs at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (Klia) crippled an attempt to smuggle in 2.56 million sticks of cigarette and 7,560 kg of chewing tobacco on Sunday.
The consignment was valued at RM400,000 with unpaid taxes amounting to RM2.2 million.
Klia Customs director Datuk Hamzah Sundang said three lorries and three local men aged between 26 and 34 years were intercepted at the cargo inspection section.
“The three lorries were found to be loaded with cigarettes and chewing tobacco without any declaration document to allow them to pass through the Klia customs cargo gate,” he told a media conference here today.
He said the three men had been remanded for seven days to assist in the investigation under Section 135(1)(a) of the Customs Act 1967.
Hamzah attributed the success of the case to the Coordinated Border Management (CBM) operation launched on Jan 15 to curb leakages and smuggling activities.
He said throughout the CBM operation conducted at the Klia Free Trade Zone, 30 cases of wrongdoing were recorded, of which 29 were issued compounds and one, prosecuted in court under the Customs Act.
“For the period between Jan 15 and March 6, 2017, RM295.66 million were collected throughout Ops CBM, an increase of 22.66 per cent compared to the same period last year, ” he said, adding that the operation was ongoing. — Bernama