The much-anticipated enactment of making the Orchard Road a smoke-free zone has been among the top laws set to take full effect this year. This would not only have positive impact on Singapore’s tourism drive, but also for the general welfare of the people in the area, as well as for the future generations to come.
With the much-needed clampdown on smoking in one of the country’s top-visited places, Singapore is not only doing itself a big favour in terms of public order and discipline, but also making a critical move to support the National Environment Agency (NEA)’s bid to protect Singapore’s natural resources, including the people and their living conditions.
Smokers Face up to SGD 1,000 Fine for Smoking Outside ‘Yellow Boxes’ in Orchard Road
The National Environment Agency (NEA) recently announced that smokers caught lighting up outside ‘yellow boxes’ in Orchard Road can expect a hefty fine instead of a warning starting April 1, as shared in a report by Today Online.
According to the announcement, those who will be caught smoking outside designated locations along Orchard Road may face a composition fine of SGD 200, or up to a maximum court fine of SGD 1,000.
It can be recalled that Orchard Road was made a smoke-free zone from January 1 this year, then followed by a three-month “advisory period” which ended last March 31.
The said approach was decided on to give people and businesses ample time to adjust to the new system.
During the adjustment period, those who were caught smoking were only given verbal warnings at first instance, followed by written warnings up until mid-March.
The “vast majority” of smokers adhered to the warnings given, and moved to designated areas accordingly.
During this period, the number of verbal warnings dropped from an average of 1,900 a day back in the first week of January, to an average of 550 a day in mid-March – a dip by as much as 70 percent.
The number further went down to 87 a day from March 18, when NEA officers began issuing written warnings.
To help smokers adapt to the changes, over 50 designated areas have been set up at regular distances within Orchard Road – most of which, have been marked as yellow boxes outside shopping areas and hotels.
In consideration of tourists visiting the famous strip in the country, the NEA have put up informational materials at the Orchard Road Singapore Visitor Centre, and points of entry such as the Singapore Cruise Centre and Marina Bay Cruise Centre.