The tobacco smoking ban will soon be enlarged to more public places in Singapore. Smoking will be prohibited on corridors, void decks and staircases within residential buildings, sheltered walkways and overhead bridges and outdoor hospital compounds. Smoking will also be banned within a five meter radius around bus shelters. Implementation details of the smoking ban will be refined in consultation with the community and building owners.
Announcing the new plan in Parliament, Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources, Grace Fu, declared that the long term goal is to ban smoking in all public places, except designated special smoking areas.
In 2005, a smoking prohibition at all bus stops was enforced. Dustbins were also located at the edge of the bus shelter for to encourage smokers to move away from non-smokers.
Ms Fu also argued that she hopes more centers will make the move to make their major premises smoke-free. She added that the state ministry will also think over extending the smoking ban to parks and town public areas.
MP for Nee Soon GRC, Lee Bee Wah, had earlier called for better enforcement of the smoking ban.
Dr Lee reported: “Another thing which can sour a person’s every day experience is the exposure to cigarette smoke. While there is at present a smoking prohibition only for some public places, but such places as walkways, overhead bridges and of course parks do not have such restrictions. Having laws is one thing, but having it enforced is another.”
Ms Fu added: “Community obligation and individual responsibility are key to successful implementation as there is a limit to the resources we can commit to enforcing an extended smoking prohibition.”