Written Reply by Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment, to Parliamentary Question on Smoking (Prohibition in Certain Places) Regulations
Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang: To ask the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment (a) what is the rationale for specifying five metres as the distance within which smoking is prohibited under the Smoking (Prohibition in Certain Places) Regulations considering that secondhand smoke can drift beyond that; and (b) whether the Ministry is considering increasing this distance; (c) if so, how will the new distance be determined; and (d) if not, why not.
1 No smoking is allowed within 5 metres of certain smoking-prohibited places such as bus stops, and entrances and exits of public buildings. The five-metre buffer distance specified under the Smoking (Prohibition in Certain Places) Regulations was determined with reference to local and international standards for the intake of ambient air into building ventilation systems or building openings. This distance is also similar to buffer distances implemented overseas.
2 Given Singapore’s dense urban environment, five metres is a reasonable and realistic buffer distance to protect the public from second-hand tobacco smoke at certain smoking-prohibited places commonly accessible to the public. Nevertheless, my Ministry will review the smoking prohibition regulations from time to time.