Butts out, smokers — the entire precinct of Orchard Road will be smoke-free from Jan 1 next year. Except for the 40 designated smoking areas, that is.
Starting 2019, the area bordered by Tanglin Road, Goodwood Park Hotel and Dhoby Ghaut will be officially declared a No Smoking Zone by the National Environment Agency (NEA), and with it, a publicity drive to remind both local residents and tourists that the pedestrian walkways along the shopping belt should be free of cigarette smoke. We’re talking ads at MRT stations and bus stops, signages erected at lamp posts and bins, brochures at shopping malls and stores, as well as community volunteers deployed in the district. Inbound travelers will be alerted through publicity materials displayed at various points of entry such as Changi Airport as well as hotels.
But to make sure that everyone gets the message first before the rules become concrete, the first three months of 2019 will see NEA officers taking an advisory approach. Of course, smokers lighting up in places where smoking is already prohibited — like covered linkways and bus stops — will face enforcement actions.
“Those caught smoking in other public areas within the No Smoking Zone will receive verbal warnings. However, smokers who repeatedly flout the law in spite of prior warnings may also be issued a fine,” stated the NEA.
From April 1 onwards, the gloves are off. Anyone caught puffing outside designated smoking areas will be issued a ticket, with fines going up to $1,000.
As of last Thursday, 40 designated smoking areas have been set up in the district. NEA assured that a majority of these zones are approximately 100 to 200 meters apart to facilitate the compliance of smokers and ensure a sufficient spread of places to light up within a reasonable distance.
Check out the list below.