Smokers, There’re Now ‘Yellow Boxes’ for You to Smoke in Orchard


Anyone who has been through NS would know what a “yellow box” is: it’s a designated smoking area in army camps, and usually, after lunch, the small area will be so crowded that some people just stand outside the “box”.

Known fondly as the Yellow Box to NSFs and NSmen, the name came about as the area is marked with yellow lines, and are usually square or rectangular, with a dustbin for smokers to discard their cigarette butts.

Well, it seems like there’re going to be Yellow Boxes in Orchard as well, although this time, they’re painted white.

According to The Straits Times, five smoking areas have been set up along Orchard Road, marked more like a parking lot than a Yellow Box.

Most smokers would know that in high-density area like Orchard (okay, maybe not that crowded now), there would be NEA officers lingering around, catching people who smoke illegally or discarding their cigarette butts on the ground. This could be one of the reasons why smokers often gathered around dustbins along Orchard Road.

The report stated that it’s a goal to create a smoke-free Orchard Road. These yellow boxes smoking areas are placed farther from less-crowded locations, so non-smokers would not have to suffer from the second-hand smoke.

Of course, this isn’t new: in some shopping malls, the management has created designated smoking points outside the mall, so that people wouldn’t suka suka smoke anywhere that’s five metres away from the entrance. Heck, even SIM (a school) has a large smoking area near the entrance of the premises.

In the last ten years, more areas in Singapore have become smoke-free. Remember days when anyone can just smoke anywhere in a coffeeshop or hawker centre? Now, you can’t even smoke in void decks.

However, there has been no official ban of smoking along Orchard Road—suffice to say, you can still see people suka suka smoking anywhere. The designated smoking areas merely cater to people who are considerate enough to take the extra effort to smoke in a designated area.

But you never know what’s going to happen next, because, well, remember days when you can even smoke in KTV rooms? That didn’t seem too long ago, isn’t it?

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