Oral Reply by Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State for Sustainability and the Environment, to Parliamentary Question on Designated Smoking Corners
Ms Poh Li San: To ask the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment (a) whether there is a deadline for all designated smoking corners to be removed from hawker centres and other food establishments; and (b) if not, whether there are plans to enclose these areas and retrofit them with special air filters.
1 Since 2015, all newly built and redeveloped hawker centres have been smoke-free. As for existing hawker centres, the National Environment Agency (NEA) has been engaging local stakeholders such as the Hawkers’ Associations and Town Councils on the progressive removal of smoking corners when opportune, such as during repair and redecoration works.
2 NEA has also stopped accepting applications for smoking corners in food retail establishments since June 2017. Existing smoking corners in food retail establishments are allowed to remain until the current licence of the food retail establishment is terminated or cancelled. There are currently 21 hawker centres and about 560 food retail establishments with smoking corners, a decrease from more than 950 smoking corners in June 2017. We expect the number of smoking corners to further decrease over time.
3 There are currently no plans to require designated smoking corners to be enclosed or to be retrofitted with special air filters. We will continue to review the smoking prohibition regulations from time to time.