Singapore moves forward on smoking ban
It appears that afternoon smoking break outside to puff away on cigarettes may be a thing of the past in Singapore, if the government enacts legislation on smoking ban. On Monday the ministry of environment declared that it was promoting a commitment of the smoking ban and expected it would be a reason for many people to give up the addictive habit.
Vivian Balakrishnan, the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, said to Parliament on Monday that the ministry of environment is “intensively controlling and performing initiatives” to discourage non-smokers and help smokers to quit smoking.
The general long-term aim of the ministry is to eliminate smoking in all public places. The specially designed smoking zones are not touched upon by this measure.
Surprisingly, a majority of population in Singapore consider that the measure will have positive affects for the residents. Even smokers think so.
Graphic designer Chang Hu said that he took up a smoking habit since he was a teenager and I really want to quit. He considers that such strict measure that makes smoking illegal and expensive smoke in public is a good and effective move. He told that not smoking enables him to spend more time doing important things and being with his friends and family who don’t smoke.
The minister pointed out that those aged between 18 and 39 are an important part in the increase of smoking people.
Basing on a current study led by the Health Promotion Board (HPB) in 2010, the ministry said that 14.3 % of the Singaporeans are smokers, a rise of less than 1 % in comparison with the results of the study in 2007.
This year, the ministry intends to extend the number the areas, where smoking ban is applied, to common grounds in residential buildings, sheltered walkways, linkways, overhead bridges, outdoor compounds of hospitals and a five meter buffer zone around bus shelters.
If a person is caught smoking in a prohibited area, he will be fined of $1,000.
Chang said that it is the right measure for the city.
He added that population of Singapore wants a clean and pollution free city, so if there are smokers like he who lights up everywhere, the change wouldn’t happen.
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