SINGAPORE – He is a smoker but Ang Mo Kio resident Jonathan welcomed the smoking ban which kicked in on Friday (July 1), saying he can empathise with non-smokers who visit parks for fresh air.
Jonathan, who declined to be identified as his family is not aware he lights up, frequently visits Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park for exercise.
“Although I am a smoker, when I exercise, and if I see someone smoking, I find it irritating because fresh air is needed,” he said.
The smoking ban in public areas has been extended as part of Singapore’s efforts to reduce the habit and combat second-hand tobacco smoke.
From July 1, anyone caught smoking at all public parks, some water sites such as Bedok Reservoir and 10 recreational beaches could face a fine of up to $1,000.
There are more than 100 sites under these categories, and they add to a list of over 49,000 places where smoking is banned including bus stops and shopping malls.
To give people enough time to adjust, those caught smoking at the new sites in the first three months of the smoking ban will receive verbal advisories.
Enforcement will take effect from Oct 1.
Residents welcomed the move.
Ms Katrina Fu, 31, who is seven months pregnant and loves walking at the Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park, said: “Because of my pregnancy, I shouldn’t be smelling any smoke.
“The ban helps pregnant mothers.”
There are two designated smoking areas in the park, and signs to remind visitors about the ban.
Parkgoer Ng, who is in his 50s, said as a smoker, he appreciates that designated smoking areas have been set aside.
Ng, who was at East Coast Park on Sunday and declined to be identified, said: “The Government did the right thing to at least designate a small area versus a complete ban.
“Certain things take time to get used to but the fact remains that smoking is bad, and this is coming from a smoker.”