In 2019, the Malaysian government implemented a significant and progressive step towards promoting public health by introducing a nationwide ban on smoking indoors. This initiative was aimed at creating smoke-free environments within enclosed public spaces, including restaurants, cafes, and other establishments. The smoking ban was a response to the growing concerns about the adverse health effects of secondhand smoke and aimed to protect non-smokers from involuntary exposure to harmful substances.

Five Years Later: A Survey to Assess the Impact of the Smoking Ban:

As we fast forward to the present year, 2024, it has been five years since the implementation of the Malaysian smoking ban indoors. This milestone provides an opportune moment to reflect on the effectiveness of the policy and its impact on public health, compliance rates, and overall societal attitudes towards smoking. To gain a comprehensive understanding of the ban’s outcomes, we are initiating a survey to assess the perceptions and experiences of the Malaysian population regarding the smoking ban.

Through this survey, we aim to explore various aspects, such as changes in smoking behavior, public awareness of the ban, and the overall effectiveness of enforcement mechanisms. The data gathered will contribute valuable insights for policymakers, public health officials, and the community at large, aiding in the continual improvement of tobacco control measures and the promotion of a healthier, smoke-free environment for all Malaysians.

Survey Methodology

The survey was conducted online and gathered responses from a diverse sample of the Malaysian population. Participants were asked about their awareness of the smoking ban, observations of compliance, reasons for non-compliance, and their overall support for the ban. The survey also assessed perceptions of the ban’s enforcement and its contribution to creating a healthier environment in public places.

Survey Results

Awareness of the Smoking Ban

Question: Were you aware of the smoking ban in public places, including eateries, implemented in January 2019 in Malaysia?

  • Yes: 79 respondents
  • No: 2 respondents

The majority of respondents (97.5%) were aware of the smoking ban implemented in January 2019.

Observations of Compliance

Question: How often have you observed individuals violating the smoking ban in eateries and public places?

  • Rarely or never: 7 respondents
  • Occasionally: 35 respondents
  • Frequently: 39 respondents

A significant portion of respondents observed frequent violations of the smoking ban, indicating potential challenges in compliance.

Reasons for Non-Compliance

Question: If you’ve observed individuals violating the smoking ban, what do you believe are the primary reasons for non-compliance? (Select all that apply)

  • Lack of awareness: 22 respondents
  • Disagreement with the ban: 23 respondents
  • Inadequate enforcement: 49 respondents
  • Habitual behavior: 55 respondents
  • Other (specify): 0 respondents

Habitual behaviour was identified as the primary reason for non-compliance, followed by Inadequate enforcement and disagreement with the ban.

Rating of Enforcement

Question: How would you rate the enforcement of the smoking ban in public places?

  • Excellent: 5 respondents
  • Good: 11 respondents
  • Fair: 20 respondents
  • Poor: 45 respondents

Most respondents rated the enforcement of the smoking ban as fair to poor, suggesting room for improvement in enforcement mechanisms.

Support for the Smoking Ban

Question: Do you support the smoking ban in public places, including eateries?

  • Strongly support: 72 respondents
  • Support: 6 respondents
  • Neutral: 2 respondents
  • Oppose: 1 respondent
  • Strongly oppose: 0 respondents

There is overwhelming support for the smoking ban, with 88.9% of respondents strongly supporting it.

Perceived Impact on Public Health

Question: Do you believe the smoking ban has contributed to a healthier environment in public places?

  • Strongly Agree: 52 respondents
  • Agree: 22 respondents
  • Disagree: 3 respondents
  • Strongly Disagree: 4 respondents

The majority of respondents (64.2%) strongly agree that the smoking ban has contributed to a healthier environment in public places.

Demographic Breakdown

The survey included respondents from various age groups and states:


  • The largest age group is 45-54 years old, making up 32.1% of the sample.
  • The second largest is 55-64 years old at 27.2%.


  • Sarawak has the highest representation at 70.4%.


  • Females make up the majority at 72.8%.
  • Males comprise 27.2%.


The survey results indicate that the Malaysian smoking ban has widespread public awareness and support. However, there are notable challenges in compliance, primarily due to inadequate enforcement and habitual smoking behavior. Despite these challenges, a significant portion of the population believes that the smoking ban has positively impacted public health by creating a healthier environment in public places.

These insights suggest that while the smoking ban is a step in the right direction, there is a n