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QuestionEr Dr Lee Bee Wah: To ask the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources (a) whether he can update the House on NEA's implementation of a smoke-free zone in the Orchard Road area; and (b) what are the challenges faced in designating smoking areas in this part of the city with high human traffic.
Reply by Minister Masagos Zulkifli
The Orchard Road No-Smoking Zone (NSZ) was brought into force on 1 January 2019, as part of the Government’s long term goal of achieving a smoke-free Singapore.
2 Over the past few months, the National Environment Agency (NEA) has been actively publicising the NSZ through various platforms. Signs demarcating the boundary of the NSZ have been erected at lamp posts and dustbins, while advertisements have been put up at MRT stations and selected bus stops and on buses plying Orchard Road. Community Volunteers have been engaging the public in the NSZ to raise awareness, while publicity materials are being displayed at our points of entry and on the Singapore Tourism Board’s Visit Singapore webpage to alert foreign visitors to the prohibition. Travel agents, tour guides and hotels have also been informed about the NSZ so that they can advise tourists accordingly.
3 Prior to implementing the NSZ, NEA had worked closely with the Orchard Road Business Association (ORBA) and building owners and managers to ensure sufficient provision of designated smoking areas (DSAs). There are now more than 40 DSAs within the NSZ, spaced about 100 to 200 metres apart. As footfall along the shopping belt is particularly heavy, efforts have been made to ensure that the DSAs are located away from the pedestrian thoroughfare. Smokers can find the location of these DSAs on the OneMap and NEA’s website, the myENV mobile application, and through publicity brochures disseminated at shopping malls and tobacco retailers within the NSZ.
4 We are monitoring the use of the DSAs, and will assess the effectiveness of the NSZ in reducing the public’s exposure to second-hand smoke.
Last updated: 14 Jan 2019
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