Written Reply by Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment, to Parliamentary Question on Smoking in Hawker Centres, on 4 January 2021
Ms Tin Pei Ling: To ask the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment how many hawker centres still allow smoking in designated yellow box areas and what is the longer term plan for such an arrangement in these hawker centres.
As of December 2020, there are 27 hawker centres with smoking corners.
My Ministry's long-term plan is to transit our hawker centres into smoke-free public community dining places. This will protect patrons from second-hand tobacco smoke and create a more pleasant dining environment.
Since 2015, my Ministry has required all newly built and renovated hawker centres to be smoke-free. As of December 2020, 87 out of the 114 hawker centres in Singapore are smoke-free. For the remaining 27 hawker centres with smoking corners, the National Environment Agency (NEA) will engage local stakeholders such as the Hawkers' Associations on the progressive removal of smoking corners when opportune, such as upon repairs and redecoration works.
Since October 2020, hawker centres undergoing the Toilet Improvement Programme (TIP) can qualify for increased funding if their smoking corners are rescinded. I urge Town Councils to apply for the TIP to upgrade the hawker centre toilets and rescind smoking corners at the same time, so that patrons can enjoy a pleasant dining environment at hawker centres.