Get building security involved in anti-smoking drive

I agree with Mr Raymund Koh Joo Guan that the authorities need to do more in the fight against the smoking menace in public places ("Some public places need 'No Smoking' signs badly"; Jan 12).

More and more non-smokers are being exposed to the harmful effects of second-hand smoke.

Even though we have laws that prohibit smoking within 5m of building entrances and public access areas, this has been blatantly ignored by smokers, as enforcement by the National Environment Agency (NEA) has been lax.

The building management has no authority to stop these smokers.

At best, they can persuade the smokers to move elsewhere, but most of the time, they turn a blind eye, not wanting to offend the smokers.

The NEA should empower security guards of buildings to book offenders.

Security guards of buildings are stationed there all the time and may be more effective in enforcing the regulations.

That would put the burden of responsibility on the building management to ensure that their buildings are truly smoke-free, and free up NEA's enforcement teams to focus on other public places.

Patrick Tan Siong Kuan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 14, 2017, with the headline 'Get building security involved in anti-smoking drive'. Print Edition | Subscribe