All public spaces on the bustling Orchard Road area — from Tanglin to Dhoby Ghaut — will become no smoking zones from July 1 next year, announced the National Environment Agency (NEA) today. In addition, it also announced that new smoking corners at food retail establishments island-wide will no longer be approved.
Smoking at Orchard Road will only be allowed at designated smoking areas (DSAs), and there are currently five of them in the zone:
- Behind Somerset MRT station
- Cuppage Terrace
- Far East Plaza
- Orchard Towers
- The Heeren
However, residential buildings within the area will not be subject to the smoking ban, except for existing prohibited places like playgrounds.
In a press release, NEA said, “We will continue to engage the various stakeholders during this one-year period to ensure that ‘No Smoking’ signage is installed at the affected premises and roads within the smoke-free zone, and that bins with ashtrays are replaced with bins without ashtrays. Bins placed along the main thoroughfare will also carry messages reminding people that the area is a smoke-free zone. Premises owners have also been advised to send a circular to their tenants to inform them about the smoke-free zone and the location of nearby Designated Smoking Areas (DSAs).”
Moreover, NEA also announced that it will no longer accept applications for smoking corners in all food retail establishments islandwide. Existing smoking corners will be allowed to remain, unless the current licence is terminated or cancelled.
Initially, an advisory approach will be taken in the first three months on the Orchard Road after the no smoking ban kicks in, said the NEA. Those caught smoking in public areas will receive only verbal warnings between July 1 and Sept 30.
However, enforcement action — a fine of up to SGD1,0000 — will be taken against errant smokers in the zone from October 1 next year.
The NEA said it had been working with the Orchard Road Business Association (ORBA) as well as other stakeholders since August 2015, on making the Orchard area smoke free.
Welcoming the move, Steven Goh, ORBA’s executive director, said, “The Orchard Road Business Association continually takes steps to improve the visitor experience in our precinct. Whilst the Designated Smoking Areas will cater to smokers, non-smokers are also protected from second-hand tobacco smoke. We therefore welcome NEA’s move and will continue to work closely with NEA and our members to ensure the successful implementation of the smoke-free zone.”