Offenders caught lighting up in smoke-free zones down by 70%
SINGAPORE: The number of smokers caught lighting up illegally has
fallen by about 70 per cent, says the National Environment Agency
And there is good news for nightspot owners as well since smoking was banned at such establishments in July 2007 -- cleaning carpets at nightspots has become easier.
"Before we went 100 per cent smoke-free, we had to do thorough cleaning every month, including the provision of ash trays. So in a year's time, we need about S$10,000. Ever since we went 100 per cent smoke-free in January 2007, we only shampoo the carpet twice a year, and that's a cost saving of 90 per cent," said the marketing communication manager at Royal Plaza on Scotts, Lynn Tan.
Costs aside, the fresher air has also attracted more patrons, resulting in better sales.
And to help staff quit smoking, the company also provides nicotine patches to smokers from time to time. The company also invites health experts to give talks to workers on living a smoke-free lifestyle.
The NEA has also stepped up checks at coffeeshops where smoking is only allowed at designated spots.
On average, four offenders were caught lighting up in smoke-free areas each month, for the first half of this year.
This is a drop of about 70 per cent as compared to the same period last year.
Despite the fall, the agency has no plans to cut back on patrols.
"There are still a handful of smokers who need to exercise consideration at smoke-free zones, so as to protect the health of those non-smokers around them,” said NEA’s head of operations, Environmental Health Department, Tai Ji Choong.
From next year, the smoking ban will be extended to children's playgrounds, markets, covered carparks and non-air conditioned areas in workplaces and malls.