By July 1 next year, you’ll have to stub out your cigarette when you stroll down Orchard Road. According to the National Environment Agency (NEA), that’s when smoking will be officially banned at all public spaces along Orchard Road, which is considered the area bordered by Tanglin Road, Goodwood Park Hotel and Dhoby Ghaut.
From July 2018, if you want to light up when you’re in town, you’ll only be able to do so at the five government-owned designated smoking areas — behind Somerset MRT station, Cuppage Terrace, Far East Plaza, Orchard Towers and The Heeren.
That means the 16 smoking corners currently within F&B businesses will cease to exist by June 30 in 2018 — also, the NEA will not be accepting new applications for smoking corners in any F&B establishments across the island. Unless current licences are terminated or cancelled, smoking corners that already exist will remain.
“No smoking” signs will be placed at the affected areas during this one-year period before July 2018. Bins along the main road will also have messages to remind the public of the smoke-free zone.
But no worries if you forget to put away your cigarette when the ban kicks in — the NEA will take an “advisory approach” for the first three months, which means if you’re caught smoking in public areas along Orchard Road between July 1 and Sept 30, you’ll only get a verbal warning. Unfortunately, those who continue to do so from Oct 1 next year will be fined up to $1,000, reports TODAY.
Last June, the list of smoke-free places was lengthened to include reservoirs, parks, void decks, shopping malls, hospitals and spaces within a 5m radius of a bus stop. Over the course of 2016, about 19,000 tickets were issued to people who smoked in prohibited areas, according to The Straits Times.