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Not many takers for Nee Soon South smoking 'sheds'

Smokers in Nee Soon still prefer lighting up in open; Volunteers not giving up

Published on Jan 20, 2014 7:41 AM
Volunteer anti-smoking advocates Irene Tan, 50 (left), and Fanny Oei, 43, giving out flyers near Nee Soon South Community Club. They are among 20 volunteers helping to raise awareness about the smoke-free zone. -- ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

Two  weeks into the new smoke-free zone in Nee Soon South, Singapore's first to be led by the grassroots, smokers are still not budging.

When resident volunteers trained by the Health Promotion Board (HPB) took to the streets for the first time on Thursday night to cajole smokers into using the six smoking "sheds" rather than puff away in the open, some listened out of politeness while others scurried away from them.

Sporting T-shirts emblazoned with "I Love Quitters" on the front, four middle-aged volunteers - all non-smokers - gamely made their way around Nee Soon South Zone D's 28 blocks to speak to smokers.

The smoke-free zone covers communal spaces in the area, including Yishun Stadium and Yishun Sports and Recreation Centre. It is part of a one-year pilot that may be extended throughout Nee Soon South if residents support it.

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