Starting from January 1, smoking in schools, hospitals, libraries, cinemas, factories, offices and on public transport will be prohibited, a government statement seen on Tuesday said.

The ban will extend to all indoor public spaces by the end of 2010, the statement said, adding the government also plans to apply "high tariff levels" on tobacco products next year to cut consumption.

Tobacco products are subject to a tax rate of 45 percent at present. The government statement did not provide details of the planned tax hike.

Annual consumption of tobacco products in the Southeast Asian country was estimated at about $500 million in 2007, state media reported.

Reuters - August 26, 2009