Orchard Road to be smoke-free zone from January 2019

Orchard Road to be smoke-free zone from January 2019

File photo orchard road shoppers
Shoppers walking along Orchard Road. (File photo: Calvin Oh)

SINGAPORE: Smokers will be prohibited from lighting up in public within the Orchard Road area from January next year.

The National Environment Agency (NEA) said in a media release on Wednesday (Nov 28) that the Orchard Road precinct will be designated a No Smoking Zone from Jan 1, 2019.

NEA added that smoking will only be allowed at Designated Smoking Areas (DSAs) while smoking corners at food and retail establishments within the No Smoking Zone will also be rescinded by Dec 31, 2018. About 40 DSAs have been set up (see list below).

The transformation of Orchard Road into a smoke-free zone was originally scheduled to start in July 2018. 

One month before the implementation, NEA announced that the smoking prohibition will be delayed to the end of the year to give businesses more time to prepare for the transition. 

RAISING AWARENESS

NEA said that it will be ramping up publicity on the No Smoking Zone in the next few weeks to raise awareness about the smoking prohibition.

"Community volunteers have already started engaging the public within the precinct. Brochures listing the locations of DSAs will be made available at shopping malls and point-of-sales of tobacco products," NEA said.

Advertisements will be put up at Orchard, Somerset, Newton and Dhoby Ghaut MRT stations, as well as selected bus stops and on buses that ply Orchard Road.

Signs will also be displayed at lamp posts and dustbins in the area while online mobile banners will be used to extend the campaign reach.

READ: Singapore to introduce plain packaging, larger graphic warnings for all tobacco products

No Smoking Zone Orchard 2018
No Smoking Zone at Orchard Road precinct. (Image: National Environment Agency

To keep foreign visitors informed of the No Smoking Zone, NEA and the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) have incorporated relevant information on STB's Visit Singapore webpage.

Inbound travellers will be alerted through publicity materials displayed at the points of entry such as Changi Airport, Singapore Cruise Centre and Marina Bay Cruise Centre. Travel agents, tourist guides and hotels will also be updated so that they can advise tourists.

SMOKING CORNERS

Smoking corners at food retail establishments within the No Smoking Zone will be rescinded by Dec 31, 2018.

NEA said that it has stopped accepting applications for new smoking corners in food retail establishments islandwide since June 2017.

"Existing smoking corners that had already been approved and which reside outside the No Smoking Zone would be allowed to remain until the current licences of the food retail establishments are terminated or cancelled. No new smoking corners will be approved for subsequent licensees of the same premises," NEA added.

READ: NEA will use cameras to detect illegal smoking - here's how it could work

ENFORCEMENT ACTION FROM APR 1

NEA said that it will take an advisory approach during the first three months of the roll-out and those caught smoking in public areas within the smoke-free zone will receive verbal warnings.

However, those caught smoking in existing smoking prohibited areas, such as covered linkways and bus stops, will continue to face enforcement action. Those who repeatedly flout the law in spite of prior warnings may also be issued a fine.

The new rules will be enforced for all who smoke in public areas within the smoke-free zone from Apr 1.

Operators and managers of premises where smoking is prohibited are also required by law to request smokers to stop smoking or to direct them to the nearest DSA if they wish to continue smoking.

"NEA takes a strict stance against smokers who flout the law and our officers conduct regular enforcement at smoking prohibited areas," the agency said.

In 2017, about 22,000 tickets were issued for smoking in prohibited areas.

Designated Smoking Areas

  • Behind Somerset MRT Station
  • Cathay Cineleisure Orchard (2)
  • Concorde Hotel and Shopping Mall (2)
  • Cuppage Terrace
  • DFS Galleria
  • Far East Plaza
  • Far East Shopping Centre
  • Forum The Shopping Mall
  • Four Seasons Hotel (2)
  • Goodwood Park Hotel (3)
  • Grand Hyatt Singapore
  • Hilton Singapore
  • Holiday Inn Express Singapore Orchard Road (2)
  • Holiday Inn Singapore Orchard City Centre (2)
  • Ming Arcade
  • Ngee Ann City (2)
  • Orchard Rendezvous Hotel (2)
  • Orchard Towers (2)
  • Plaza Singapura
  • Shaw House
  • Tang Plaza
  • Tanglin Mall
  • Tanglin Place
  • Tanglin Shopping Centre
  • The Centrepoint
  • The Heeren
  • The Paragon
  • The Quincy Hotel
  • The Regent Singapore (2)
  • Wheelock Place
  • York Hotel (2)
Source: CNA/zl(hm)

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