Come 1 October this year, you’d probably want to take note of where you’re smoking before you light up a cigarette in public.
Individuals smoking at any public park or garden, selected water areas and ten beaches in Singapore may face a maximum fine of $1,000 if caught.
Yes, it’s no longer just a verbal warning anymore.
According to a media advisory issued by the National Environment Agency (NEA), National Parks Board (NParks), national water agency PUB and Sentosa Development Corporation, fines for smoking in these areas will be implemented from this Saturday (1 October) onwards.
And if this sounds familiar, it’s because plans to implement this ban were first announced in March, and verbal advisories were given to people who were seen smoking in these areas for the first three months after that.
In addition to that, authorities have also reduced the number of public places that allow people to smoke since 1 July this year in order, and over 1,200 verbal advisories have since been issued to smokers who have continued to smoke in the prohibited areas from 1 July to 25 September.
“The smokers were receptive when advised not to smoke in these prohibited places,” the authorities noted.
However, the advisory period will come to an end this Friday (30 September), which means that those caught smoking in the prohibited areas will now be fined a composition fine of $200.
Additionally, if individuals end up being convicted in court, they face a maximum fine of $1,000.
Where You Cannot Smoke
As of now, more than 49,000 premises in Singapore, both indoor and outdoor, have smoking bans.
“In the first half of 2022, about 7,400 tickets were issued for smoking in prohibited areas,” the agencies added.
Prior to the newest ban, smoking has been prohibited in areas like neighbourhood parks located in both private and public housing estates, reservoirs and nature reserves.
As for areas in our neighbourhoods, smoking is currently banned at void decks, under sheltered walkways and areas that have a distance of 5m or less from a bus stop.
But from Saturday onwards, there will be many more locations added to the smoke-free places in Singapore, and enforcement officers from PUB, NParks, and Sentosa Development will be allowed to take action if individuals are caught smoking in the relevant smoke-free areas.
Area With New Smoking Bans
And if you’re confused as to where you can’t smoke, here’s everything you need to know about the different locations that will no longer allow people to smoke.
Apart from the locations that already have smoking bans, ten different beaches will be affected, and they are:
- Changi Beach
- East Coast Beach
- West Coast Beach
- Sembawang Beach
- Pasir Ris Beach
- Coney Island Beach
- Punggol Beach
- Siloso Beach
- Palawan Beach
- Tanjong Beach
All of the public parks and gardens managed by NParks will also be smoke-free areas now, even if there were no smoking bans implemented in the area previously.
Areas that fall under PUB’s Active, Beautiful, Clean Waters sites such as streams, rivers, and lakes will also ban smoking from 1 October onwards.
These areas cover canals and various landmarks located in close proximity to rivers, as well as wetlands, areas near large drains and more.
But if you’re still not sure, just look out for the “No Smoking By Law” signs, posters and banners that have already been put up in the areas with new smoking bans.
Additionally, there is also a list of other areas where smoking is prohibited available here.
Where You Can Still Smoke
After the ban, you might be wondering: Is there even anywhere that allows smoking anymore?
Well, the answer is yes.
Public areas such as vacant plots of land, uncovered walkways and open-air areas on the top floor of multi-storey car parks will still allow smokers to smoke.
Additionally, smokers can also smoke privately at home or in cars, but must ensure that they do not expel any second-hand smoke in smoke-free areas.
Apart from that, designated smoking areas have been set up at various beaches and parks in Singapore for smokers to get used to the bans.
Siloso Beach, Palawan Beach and Tanjong Beach have five, three and two designated smoking areas respectively, while 12 different parks in Singapore are also equipped with varying numbers of designated smoking areas for smokers to use if needed.
“NEA encourages smokers to be socially responsible when smoking in public places and not to light up in smoking-prohibited places.
“Friendly and timely reminders from family, friends and other members of the community can help to reinforce the right social behaviour and norms,” the agencies concluded.
But as we all know, not smoking at all is still better than smoking less, so for the smokers out there, why not consider quitting smoking, not just for your health but also those around you?
In fact, we’ve got you covered with various unique ways you can try out to kick this bad habit right here (no need to thank us!):
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