Smoking ban extension a step towards fresher air

I am heartened to know that reservoirs and more than 400 parks, including those in private and public housing estates, have been added to the list of smoke-free areas ("Smoking ban to extend to reservoirs, parks"; yesterday).

Smoking causes great discomfort to people in the vicinity of the smoker.

Hence, I am relieved to know that the Government's long-term goal is to snuff out smoking in all public areas.

Smoking harms one's health and brings about increased risks of developing diseases such as bronchitis.

Additionally, the second-hand smoke that is inhaled by non-smokers exposes them to greater risk of lung cancer, among other diseases.

The smell of smoke also causes great displeasure to others around the smoker.

The second-hand smoke that is inhaled by non-smokers exposes them to greater risk of lung cancer, among other diseases. The smell of smoke also causes great displeasure to others around the smoker.

Therefore, smoking should, indeed, be prohibited in public places such as parks, where members of the public hope to have pleasant experiences exercising, playing games, or simply going for a stroll for some fresh air.

However, I understand that smoking is an addiction that comes from nicotine in cigarettes.

Thus, I am also glad to know that smokers caught lighting up at reservoirs and parks in the first three months of this ban extension will get only a warning.

Time to adapt to the new rules is necessary, since stopping oneself from smoking when the need arises is more a mental act than just a physical one.

While it may be difficult for Singapore to ultimately become a smoke-free nation, the step of gradually reducing the number of people smoking in public places is one that will push us towards creating a cleaner Singapore, where people are able to enjoy fresher air, as well as have more pleasant experiences when they are in public places.

Shirley Chooi Xuan Hui (Miss)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 14, 2016, with the headline 'Smoking ban extension a step towards fresher air'. Print Edition | Subscribe