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    Apr 13, 2016

    Smoking ban at reservoirs and private, public estate parks

    SMOKING will no longer be allowed at reservoirs and more than 400 parks in private and public housing estates from June.

    This comes as an existing smoking ban in some public areas is expanded to cover reservoirs, parks managed by JTC Corporation and town councils and neighbourhood parks managed by the National Parks Board (NParks) in private estates.

    Announcing this in Parliament yesterday, Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources Amy Khor said the Government's long-term goal is to snuff out smoking in all public areas.

    This is to protect non-smokers from the harmful effects of second-hand smoke, she added during the debate on the spending plans of the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources.

    The smoking ban was last extended in 2013 to cover common areas including void decks, sheltered walkways and linkways and any area within a 5m radius from bus-stops.

    Smokers caught lighting up in the newly prohibited places in the first three months will be sent away with warnings.

    "This is to give members of the public enough time to adjust to the extension of the smoking prohibition," said the National Environment Agency (NEA) in a media release.

    But it added that smokers who repeatedly flout the law "in spite of prior warnings" can be fined.

    Smoking is currently prohibited in 32,000 places, such as shopping malls, cinemas and hospitals. Last year, around 17,000 fines were issued for smoking in prohibited areas.

    Owners of premises affected by the latest extension will be allowed to set up designated smoking points within their premises. They will be responsible for the maintenance of the smoking points.

    NEA has been working with such owners to put up no-smoking signs and to relocate or replace bins which come with ashtrays.

    It will also distribute educational materials on the smoking ban extension and will engage volunteers to spread the word.

    Separately, premises managed by the Singapore Armed Forces and Ministry of Home Affairs, where smoking has been prohibited for years, will officially be included under the Smoking (Prohibition in Certain Parks) Act.