Image of cigarette in man hand with smoke from

Survey: 87% of non-smokers are often bothered by second-hand smoke

In a press release on Tuesday (20 Aug), Smoking Cabin SG released the findings of its survey on second-hand smoking in Singapore. The survey found that 87% of non-smokers in Singapore are often bothered by second-hand cigarette smoke.

Echoing the similar sentiment, the survey also revealed that 79% of smokers felt that their family and friends were bothered by second-hand smoke.

The survey was conducted among close to 1,000 respondents, comprising of 641 non-smokers and 317 smokers. A majority of the respondents were aged 21 – 40, with 56% and 54% of non-smokers and smokers belonged to this age group respectively.

Solving the issue of second-hand cigarette smoke

The survey noted that approximately half of the non-smokers polled were parents. 91% of non-smokers said that they would prefer family and friends not to smoke around them.

After all, according to the World Health Organisation, there are at least 60 cancer causing chemicals that have been identified in second-hand smoke.

Hence, back in May 2019, Smoking Cabin SG launched Singapore’s first air-conditioned cabin with a three-layer filtration system that has the ability to convert cigarette smoke into clean air for the public.

Located outside Fusionopolis, Smoking Cabin SG has since filtered the second-hand smoke of 4,900 cigarettes. This averages 107 sticks per working day. The ultimate goal is to make Singapore truly smoke-free.

“I started Smoking Cabin SG because of my children. Whenever my balcony window is left open, cigarette smoke from the unit below creeps into my home. It affects the air quality for my five year-old son and two year-old daughter,” said Stefen Choo, Director of Smoking Cabin SG.

Meanwhile, earlier this year, the authorities announced the aim to make Orchard Road a smoke-free zone. People who smoke outside of the designated smoking areas would be fined. When asked about the Orchard Road Smoking ban, 89% of smokers said that it caused inconvenience to them.

Nonetheless, 97% of smokers said that the current public smoking areas can be improved, with 93% hoping to see more smoking cabins in Singapore.

Launch of second Smoking Cabin in Singapore

Which brings us to the launch of Smoking Cabin SG’s second installation. Located at The Padang, the cabin now serves as a facility to remove second-hand cigarette smoke in the area.

“The Smoking Cabin offered an innovative and effective method in combating smoking at major event areas like the NDP. Non-smokers do not have to put up with secondary smoke that dissipates into the surroundings which is common to conventional smoking corners. Common spaces can now be optimised for everyone working at the Padang. We are thankful to have the Smoking Cabin solution this year,” said Military Expert 6 Ignatius Tham, Chairman of the NDP 2019 logistics and finance committee.

Smoking Cabin SG’s second cabin at the National Day Parade (NDP)
Smoking Cabin SG’s second cabin at the National Day Parade (NDP)

Seeking support from organisations to get more Smoking Cabin up and running

Moving on, the survey also highlighted that 81% of smokers felt that having less second-hand smoke due to the Smoking Cabin would positively influence their decisions to visit shopping malls.

Therefore, the company hinted that a Smoking Cabin be made available to the shopping mall operators and building owners at a monthly fee of $2,500 for a minimum period of five years. Fitted with television sets, the Smoking Cabin is also a potential advertising revenue source for shopping mall operators and building owners.

“Our initial plan was to have 60 cabins in Singapore. We may have been a little too optimistic. We are currently trying to find a sustainable business model for the cabin. Seeking the support of organisations to fund the Smoking Cabin is an uphill task. It requires a significant mindset shift on managing the issue of second-hand cigarette smoke.” said Mr Choo.