Smoking harms the health of the smoker. Not only that, people exposed to second-hand smoke in public places are also at risk of the ill effects of smoking.
There are at least 60 cancer-causing chemicals in second-hand smoke. Non-smokers who are exposed to second-hand smoke face higher risks of lung cancer, respiratory tract infections, heart disease as well as eye, nose and throat irritations.
Studies have also shown that pregnant women exposed to second-hand smoke are more likely to have miscarriages or stillbirths.
Although less than 15% of Singaporean adults are smokers, anyone in a public space with smokers can be affected by the effects of smoking.
The Ministry takes measure to protect the health of non-smokers through the smoking prohibition act.
Besides having laws in place, smokers must also take responsibility for their own actions and be considerate towards others.
Greater Enforcement Of Ban
The NEA has stepped up its efforts to enforce the smoking ban by conducting daily patrols of various places, including 24-hour food and entertainment outlets. Members of the public can also report smoking violations via NEA's 24-hour call centre or its iPhone app, myENV.
Extending The Smoking Ban To More Areas
Efforts to protect non-smokers from second-home smoke began in 1970 when smoking was banned in cinemas, theatres and on omnibuses. Since then, the ban has been extended to cover 37 types of premises, particularly those where it is harder for non-smokers to avoid second-hand smoke. There have been increasing calls from the public to extend the smoking ban to more areas. The smoking ban now covers most areas where non-smokers are unable to avoid and will eventually be extended to all public places except designated smoking areas. This will be implemented incrementally, taking into account feedback from public and relevant stakeholders.
In Jan 2013, the smoking ban was extended to include common areas of residential buildings (such as common corridors, void decks, staircases, stairwells, as well as multi-purpose halls) covered walkways/ link ways, pedestrian overhead bridges, 5-metre radius from the edge of bus shelters, and hospital outdoor compounds.
From 1 Jun 2016, the smoking prohibition was further extended to the following areas: reservoirs, parks under the purview of JTC Corporation and parks in public housing estates managed by the respective Town Councils, and parks in private landed estates managed by NParks.