Written Reply by Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment, to Parliamentary Question on No Smoking Zones
Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang: To ask the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment (a) whether the designation of the Orchard Road precinct as a “No Smoking Zone” (NSZ) has been considered as a success; and (b) whether the Ministry is considering designating other areas as NSZ.
The Orchard Road No Smoking Zone (ORNSZ) has generally seen good results. Public reactions have been positive. A survey conducted by the National Environment Agency (NEA) in July 2019 found that 80% of the respondents (including 60% of smokers surveyed) supported the ORNSZ. Top reasons from smokers and non-smokers include the environmental and public health benefits brought about.
Since enforcement at the ORNSZ started in April 2019, feedback on smoking has decreased from around 30 cases per month in the first three months, to fewer than 15 cases per month on average from January to March 2020, just before Circuit Breaker.
The smooth implementation of the ORNSZ, which covers a relatively large area with high footfall and numerous commercial premises, has been made possible by the collective effort and involvement of the local stakeholders. This includes ongoing support in maintaining sufficient Designated Smoking Areas (DSAs) within the ORNSZ, placement of signages, and engagement of smokers to seek their cooperation to smoke only within DSAs.
We will continue to monitor and assess the effectiveness of the ORNSZ, as well as the level of support from local stakeholders and partners, before considering whether to designate other areas as No Smoking Zones.