Progress Singapore Party (PSP) member Jeffrey Khoo took to his Facebook on Tuesday (6 Oct) to say that he concurs with Member of Parliament (MP) Louis Ng’s proposal to ban smoking at windows and balconies in residential homes.
Living in a HDB flat – like many Singaporeans – Mr Khoo shared that he has to go through the ordeal of living with smoking neighbours whose secondhand smoke “intrudes” into his home frequently.
“In fact, as I write this post, I can smell my neighbour’s morning puff,” he added.
According to the PSP member, this issue of secondhand smoking is a “big problem”, particularly for those who prefer fresh air – just like Mr Khoo himself – as well as those who continuously use air conditioning or even those who could not afford to use air conditioning – given the rise in electricity tariff.
Mr Khoo went on to say that the effects of secondhand smoke are well-documented, adding that it is a danger to public health. He also stressed that smoking at home is becoming more common, especially since more people are working from home due to the pandemic.
“While it maybe argued that monitoring residents who could be smoking near windows, balconies and stairwells (my smoking neighbour’s fave place) is intrusive, the secondhand smoke making its way to our homes is also intrusive,” he explained.
According to Mr Khoo, smokers opt to smoke outside primarily because they are aware of the ill-effects of secondhand smoke on their families, and they do not want secondhand smoke permeating their own homes.
“Let’s not kid ourselves. Smoking is strongly addictive and mediation will be difficult. Going to your neighbour to complain would also affect social cohesion. The best way is a law to reduce this intrusive smoke from entering our homes, educate smokers and help as many as possible to kick this nasty habit,” he remarked.
Concluding his post, Mr Khoo called on the Government and fellow Singaporeans to be resolute in working towards a healthier Singapore, and not shy away from making tough decisions.