Soon, There Will Be Cameras Around S’pore to Catch Smokers

Image: LemmeArt / + Tawan Jz /

Lest you’re unaware, Singapore has really been cutting (down on smoking) corners recently, with rules and regulations being implemented just about everywhere.

Indeed, it seems that Singapore’s finally waging an all-out war on our huff-heavy friends, with smoking now prohibited in an estimated 32,000 premises and locations, such as entertainment outlets, shopping malls, office premises, hospitals, schools, cinemas, bus stops, covered walkways, lift lobbies, stairwells and entrances to buildings.

How do you feel about that, smokers?

Image: Imgflip

But wait, that’s not all, seeing how there might soon be cameras around the island to help detect smoking in prohibited areas.

Image: Imgflip

You see, even Captain Picard is pissed off.

High definition thermal sensors

Image: Straits Times

The National Environment Agency (NEA) has intentions to situate surveillance cameras around the island with high definition thermal sensors to assist in the detection of smoking in prohibited areas.

But if you thought that smoking’s the only illegal act here, you’re wrong. The handy cameras will also be able to capture other acts like spitting and littering, which aren’t exactly hygenic in a sense.

How does it work?

Cameras deployed in areas where smoking is rampant but banned will record images of the person, alongside the date and time.

The thermal cameras will be able to detect a person holding a lit cigarette during the day or night. They will be placed secretly on rooftops, in common corridors and staircases of residential buildings, multi-storey carparks and other locations.

And no sneaky business, because the cameras are tamper-proof.

Too bad.


Smokers argue: “What about privacy? Human rights? That girl’s innocence?”

(Article continues below) Xing Xing is a 34-year-old Singaporean lady who decides to meet up with an online friend she found in Facebook. But it turns out that he’s not what he seems to be: Prepare boxes of tissue and watch the saddest Singapore Facebook love story here:

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Well chill yo tiddies, smokers. Privacy is a serious concern, and as such there have been measures implemented in place to make sure nothing invasive happens.

For one, the thermal cameras will concentrate only on the common corridors, lift lobbies or staircase landings, parts where smoking is banned.

For two, there are strict rules overlooking the viewing of the footage, and only authorised NEA staff and the vendor may manage and see the video footage for official purposes.

So worry not smokers. Privacy is pretty much secured. You won’t be seeing yourself in Facebook and online shamed just because you smoke at a banned area.

Much to your chagrin I’m sure. 😉

As it is, NEA wants the contractor to employ an estimated 140 camera deployments a year.

That’s quite little, isn’t it? Smokers.

Image: Imgflip

World War III: Smokers

Since the 1970s, the government has been implementing measures to protect innocent bystanders from second-hand smoke.

But it seems that even by its usual strict standards, the last five years saw a jump in curbing measures.

In 2013, curbs were set in place for common spaces in residential buildings such as lift lobbies and stairwells as well as bus stops.

Last October, smoking was ruled illegal at the campus areas of public universities and other educational institutions. It was also banned in private-hire cars and buses.

And by the end of this year (the initial plan was 1 July), Orchard Road will officially be smoke-free, with specially designated smoking spots the only places for smokers to puff some smoke.

At this rate, Singapore will be totally smoke-free come 2025.

Which I totally don’t mind, by the way.

But I don’t care, how?

Incidentally, these are the penalties if you kena caught smoking in prohibited areas.

  • Fined $200; up to $1,000 if convicted in court.

Not really worth it, if our inbuilt financial calculators are to be trusted.

Incidentally, if you see anyone smoking in the aforementioned prohibited corners, you can also sabo him/her by reporting via the NEA website or MyENV app.

Don’t say bo jio ah.

Moral of the story

Be a good man, do the right thing.

Unless of course, you want to donate some money to the Government.

Then please, go right ahead. 😉

Now you know what Singaporeans are talking about today; do check back tomorrow for another piece of news of the day!