Oral Reply by SMS Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State for Sustainability and the Environment, to Parliamentary Question on Smoking in Prohibited Locations
Ms Yeo Wan Ling: To ask the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment (a) how regularly are complaints about smoking in prohibited locations lodged; (b) how many of them turn out to be in areas that are not prohibited; and (c) whether there have been considerations to redefine prohibited smoking areas based on different parameters such as human traffic volume and width of walking area.
Feedback on smoking received by the National Environment Agency (NEA) is categorised as either smoking in prohibited or non-prohibited areas. NEA does not track the number of feedback received on smoking in prohibited locations that turn out to be in areas that are not prohibited. In 2020, NEA received an average of about 2,900 feedback a month on smoking in prohibited areas and 210 feedback a month on smoking in non-prohibited areas.
To reduce the public’s exposure to the harmful effects of second-hand tobacco smoke, NEA has been progressively extending the smoking prohibition to more places where the public are likely to be exposed to second-hand tobacco smoke. Human traffic volume is already one of the considerations when determining smoking prohibited places, alongside other factors such as whether the places are enclosed, and frequency of visits by families and vulnerable groups.
Besides the Government’s efforts on smoking prohibition, I urge smokers to exercise social responsibility and refrain from lighting up where the tobacco smoke can affect those around them. Families and friends of smokers, as well as the general public, can help to reinforce positive social norms.