Smokers who light up in Orchard Road’s no-smoking zone will now face fines of up to S$1,000

Smokers who flout the rules may face a composition fine of S$200, or a maximum court fine of S$1,000.
The Straits Times

No more warnings for smokers who take a puff outside Designated Smoking Areas (DSAs) in Orchard Road’s No Smoking Zone (NSZ).

The three-month advisory period, where people caught smoking outside DSAs were let off with warnings, has ended on March 31 2019.

Marked as yellow boxes along the busy streets of Orchard Road, these DSAs have been implemented since 2016 as a measure to reduce second-hand tobacco smoke exposure to non-smokers, while still allowing those who need to smoke, to do so in designated areas.

Currently, there are more than 50 DSAs located at regular intervals within the Orchard Road NSZ.

The three-month advisory period of the implementation of the Orchard Road NSZ was put into place to give the public sufficient time to adjust to this smoking prohibition extension in Orchard Road, said the National Environmental Agency (NEA) in a statement on Monday (April 1).

Now, smokers who flout the rules may face a composition fine of S$200, or a maximum court fine of S$1,000.

Fall in advisories issued over the three-month period

During the advisory period from January till the middle of March, NEA observed a significant fall in advisories issued to smokers.

A high average of 1,900 advisories issued daily in January, fell to an average of 550 in March.

NEA also started to issue written advisories instead of verbal ones to offenders from March 18, and that saw a further drop to 87 advisories issued daily.

In total, this represents a 95 per cent reduction in the number of advisories issued from the start to the end of the three-month advisory period.

Overall improvement in visitor experience

To gather public sentiments on the Orchard Road NSZ, NEA conducted a poll with 539 respondents over seven weeks from January to March.

Now that Singapore’s busiest shopping district has been converted into a NSZ, 80 per cent of respondents agreed that the amount of second-hand tobacco smoke has reduced, thus improving overall visitor experience.

Among the 20 per cent of respondents who were smokers – 82 per cent agreed that the NSZ has reduced second-hand tobacco smoke and 62 per cent agreed that the NSZ improved visitor experience at Orchard Road.

What’s ahead for Orchard Road’s no-smoking zone

From April 1, NEA will continue in its efforts to raise awareness about the Orchard Road NSZ along with its DSAs.

Floor stickers and signs will be placed along the Orchard Road NSZ, while electronic posters will be displayed near the baggage collection areas in Changi Airport.

To keep tourists and inbound travellers informed of the Orchard Road NSZ, brochures will be available at Tourist Information racks in Changi Airport arrival halls and any other points of entry into Singapore.

The Straits Times

Read also: