ASSESSING COMPLIANCE WITH SMOKE FREE LAWS IN BATU BURUK, TERENGGANU: A DIRECT OBSERVATION
Batu Buruk beach has been gazetted as a non-smoking zone by the Minister of Health under the initiative of Terengganu state government via their program known as ‘Terengganu Bebas Asap Rokok’ (TBAR). The smoking bans at Batu Buruk was enforced in order to preserve and protect the public from the dangers of cigarette smoke as well as to keep the city's environment clean and healthy. The objectives of this study were to assess the status of compliance to legislation and identify the potential aspects of violations in Batu Buruk, Terengganu, a gazetted smoke-free area. A cross-sectional study using direct observation was conducted includes all indoor and outdoor public areas in Batu Buruk Beach. Data were collected using a standard checklist which was constructed based on the provisions of the law governing exposure to tobacco smoke as stated in Control for Tobacco Products Regulation (CTPR) 2004. The study revealed that the average overall compliance with smoke-free policy was low (66.2%). The average compliance for indoor (67.4%) was higher as compared with outdoor (58.9%). Thirteen smokers were discovered smoking outdoor in the area during the study. None of the owners provides smoking aid at their premises. Although the beach has been gazetted as a non-smoking zone for more than two years, it is disappointing that overall compliance was still minimal and smoking activities are still happening in the area. Along with intense health promotion activities, continuous enforcement, close monitoring and periodic evaluation would improve and ensure the successfulness of the programme.
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