Smoke-free Chatuchak model market

Malaysia may adopt Chatuchak market's no-smoking model in managing a smoke-free walking street in the historical trading city of Malacca on the country's west coast, according the Action on Smoking and Health Foundation. .

Rizal Majid, from the Malaysian Health Promotion Board, was among a group of representatives from Australia and the Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (SATCA) who visited the weekend market on Sunday, the foundation said in a press release on Wednesday.

The group wanted to study how the market management enforced a 100% prohibition on smoking in an open-air area like Chatuchak, which is among the world's biggest outdoor markets. During their visit they saw only one shopper and one trader smoking.

Bungon Ritthiphakdee, director of the SATCA, said under the Asean move toward smoke-free world heritage sites, each Asean country has defined it own smoke-free areaa. Malacca, as a world heritage city, had already declared a smoke-free zone two years ago, but wants to tighten up enforcement and also ensure that visitors to its walking street are made more aware of the prohibition.

Preecha Maitreerak, secretary of the director of the Chatuchak management, said around 200,000 shoppers visit the market each Saturday and Sunday, and over 8,000 traders sell goods there, so their cooperation is needed to enforce the ban.

Speakers broadcast announcements in Thai, English and Chinese every 20 minutes, reminding people the market is a non-smoking area. Signs and stickers around the market also remind people of the smoking prohibition. And over 200 security guards and tourist police officers are on duty to help instruct visitors about the regulation.