Orchard Road, Singapore (Photo by Simon Poon from Shutterstock.com).

The air in Orchard Road is now a lot cleaner as the No Smoking Zone has come into effect covering public areas, since yesterday.

The National Environment Agency (NEA) said in a press release last Wednesday (28 November) that the Orchard Road precinct will be designated a No Smoking Zone from 1 Jan onwards.

NEA added that smokers can only smoke at Designated Smoking Areas (DSAs) while smoking corners at food and retail establishments within the No Smoking Zone had been revoked since 31 December, 2018.

There are a few rules when it comes to this matter. Firstly, under the Smoking (Prohibition in Certain Places) Act, it is an offence to smoke or even hold a lit cigarette or any other form of tobacco product which is alight or emitting smoke in a smoking-prohibited area.

Secondly, if a smoker wants to smoke, they will have to make their way to one of the 40 DSAs located at regular intervals in the area.

Besides that, operators and managers of premises where smoking is prohibited are required by law to request smokers to stop smoking, or tell them to leave the premises.

In addition to that, for the first three months, those who break the rule will first be given verbal warnings or advisories from enforcement officers and volunteers. However, after 1 April, enforcement action will be taken against all offenders who smoke in non-designated public areas in the zone.

Lastly, more surveillance cameras will be deployed to monitor certain hot spots and other areas in the zone.

Upon hearing this news, many netizens have shared their approval on this move. In fact, many are suggesting to make the entire Singapore to be smoke-free.

Despite positive support from the majority of netizens, but there are a handful of them who feels that this is not the best move. As such Tony
Davies says that banning smoking is ridiculous as there are a lot of unsociable things in life that we have to tolerate. He added, “I’m often disgusted by the way people eat in restaurants, should we ban that as well? Smokers are outcasts anyway so if we have to stand in pens to get our fix, then allow us that”.

Chia Yong Kit Isaiah suggests that the government should implement smoking cabins rather than smoking areas. He said that “smokers are still humans like us and need some personal space” and smoking cabins are better because the smoke are filtered before safely letting it out.

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