7,400 tickets issued for smoking in prohibited areas in first half of 2022; enforcement action at newly banned sites to begin Oct 1
SINGAPORE: About 7,400 tickets were issued for smoking in prohibited areas in the first of half of 2022, as enforcement actions against those smoking at newly banned places are set to begin from Saturday (Oct 1).
In 2021, more than 13,000 tickets were issued for smoking in prohibited areas.
At the time, close to 40 per cent of the enforcement actions were taken for smoking in prohibited areas in Housing Board estates at common corridors, staircases, void decks and lift lobbies, as more people worked from home, said the National Environment Agency (NEA) in a news release in March.
From Oct 1, enforcement action will be taken against those smoking at additional public parks and gardens, Active, Beautiful, Clean Waters (ABC Waters) sites, as well as 10 recreational beaches.
There are more than 100 sites under these categories, joining a list of more than 49,000 places where smoking has been banned. These include entertainment outlets, shopping malls, bus stops and common areas in residential buildings.
Smoking is already banned in some green spaces such as neighbourhood parks in private and public housing estates, reservoirs and nature reserves.
In a joint media advisory on Thursday, NEA, NParks, PUB, and Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC) said their officers have been authorised to take enforcement action for smoking offences in the newly prohibited places.
Those caught smoking may face a composition fine of S$200.
People caught smoking at the newly prohibited places over the last three months were issued verbal advisories, with the advisory period ending on Sep 30.
The statement said that more than 1,200 verbal advisories were issued from Jul 1 to Sep 25, adding that "the smokers were receptive when advised not to smoke" in the prohibited areas.
To allow smokers to adjust to smoke-free parks, Designated Smoking Areas (DSAs) are provided in some larger regional parks and within the vicinity of the three beaches in Sentosa.
"No Smoking by law" signages, posters and banners have also been installed at the new smoke-free locations as additional visual reminders, said the statement.
"NEA encourages smokers to be socially responsible when smoking in public places, and not to light up in smoking prohibited places.
"Friendly and timely reminders from family, friends and other members of the community can help to reinforce the right social behaviour and norms."