The National Environment Agency's director-general of public health, Mr Derek Ho, in explaining why the agency was getting tougher on smoking in Orchard Road, has pointed out the need to protect the non-smoking public from second-hand smoke (Tougher curbs on smoking in food places, Orchard Rd; July 1).
Unlike the pedestrians in Orchard Road, HDB tenants are unable to "cross the road" to avoid the harmful fumes that enter their homes.
I live in a HDB flat. The occupants in the flat directly below mine are heavy smokers and use the balcony to smoke.
All of this second-hand smoke pollutes my flat, as it drifts up through the balcony and bedroom windows.
Why should non-smoking residents be exposed to the harmful effects of second-hand and third-hand smoke?
Many of my neighbours are also feeling frustrated and helpless when it comes to this issue.
If we were to make a lot of noise that disturbs our neighbours, the HDB would ask us to desist.
Smoking is a much more harmful pollutant than noise, yet it is allowed to continue.
In New South Wales, Australia, a by-law was issued in November last year regulating "smoke drift".
It states that smoking is allowed in apartments only if the second-hand smoke does not penetrate another property.
It would be timely for the HDB to look into the viability of adopting a similar policy in Singapore.