Ban smoking in heartland shopping areas, too

I appreciate the move by the National Environment Agency (NEA) to make it tougher for smokers to light up, and to ban smoking at public places in Orchard Road from next year (Tougher curbs on smoking in food places, Orchard Rd; July 1).

The NEA should also consider similar smoking bans for areas around shopping malls in the heartland.

Take, for example, Nex mall in Serangoon Central.

Many smokers congregate around the paths leading to the mall.

Usually from mid-morning, one can see smokers at the bottom of the nearby overhead bridge as well as at the corner of Block 264, where a childcare centre is located.

Adults and children have to walk through clouds of second-hand smoke to reach Nex and the childcare centre.

One can also see cigarette butts on the ground.

Early exposure to smoking and littering desensitises children. This could lead to another generation of smokers.

Smokers should not lament the lack of space to engage in their habit. After all, it is a well-known fact that smoking kills.

Such smoking bans can help pushsmokers to quit their habit as well as protect the non-smoking silent majority.

Judy Lim Sok Cheng (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 03, 2017, with the headline 'Ban smoking in heartland shopping areas, too'. Print Edition | Subscribe