Over 90 more places to be smoke-free from July 1, including parks, beaches and gardens
SINGAPORE — To protect members of the public from second-hand smoke, more than 90 places will be added to Singapore’s list of no-smoking spots from July 1 this year. These include public parks, gardens, recreational beaches and water projects managed by national water agency PUB.
SINGAPORE — To protect members of the public from secondhand smoke, more than 90 places will be added to Singapore’s list of no-smoking spots from July 1. These include public parks, gardens, recreational beaches and water projects managed by national water agency PUB.
However, to give smokers more time to adjust to these rules, enforcement action will take effect only on Oct 1, said Senior Minister of State for Sustainability and the Environment Amy Khor, who spoke during the debate on her ministry’s spending plans on Monday (March 7).
Until then, those caught smoking in the newly prohibited areas will receive a warning, said the authorities in a joint press release.
Officers from the National Environment Agency, National Parks Board (NParks), PUB and the Sentosa Development Corporation will be authorised to take the appropriate action against offenders.
Under the Smoking (Prohibition in Certain Places) Act 1992, anyone caught lighting up in a prohibited place is liable to a composition sum of S$200, or a fine of up to S$1,000, if convicted in court.
Dr Khor said that by including more areas under the act, Singaporeans can enjoy these recreational sites without exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke.
Posters and banners will be put up at the new smoke-free locations to remind people of the upcoming rules.
Among the more than 30 areas under PUB’s Active, Beautiful, Clean Waters sites and reservoir parks that will fall under the new rules are the Lorong Halus Wetland, the Pang Sua canal fishing deck in Yew Tee and the MacRitchie Reservoir Park.
Smoking will also be prohibited at all city, coastal and regional parks managed by NParks. Among the 51 parks are Raffles Place Park, Coney Island Park and Woodlands Waterfront Park.
City and coastal parks, as well as park connectors, developed after July 1 this year will similarly be smoke-free, the agencies said.
Ten recreational beaches will also be on the list. They are located at Changi, East and West Coast, Sembawang, Pasir Ris, Coney Island, Punggol and Sentosa’s Siloso, Palawan and Tanjong beaches.
Smoking is currently prohibited in more than 49,000 places, including indoor and outdoor areas such as entertainment outlets, shopping malls, schools and bus stops, as well as common areas in residential buildings.
This also applies to some green spaces such as neighbourhood parks in private and public housing estates, reservoirs and nature reserves.
In 2021, more than 13,000 tickets were issued for smoking in prohibited areas, said the agencies.
They added that as more people worked from home, close to 40 per cent of the enforcement actions were taken for smoking in prohibited areas in Housing and Development Board estates at common corridors, staircases, void decks and lift lobbies.
On questions by Members of Parliament about legislating against smoking at home, Dr Khor said enforcement is not a solution to curbing secondhand tobacco smoke in residential areas.
"There are privacy concerns and technological limitations to gathering evidence required for enforcement," she said.