Launch of first community-led smoke-free zone at Nee Soon South

To improve air quality in communal spaces, the first community-led smoke-free zone was launched at Nee Soon South on Sunday. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO
To improve air quality in communal spaces, the first community-led smoke-free zone was launched at Nee Soon South on Sunday. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO

To improve air quality in communal spaces, the first community-led smoke-free zone was launched at Nee Soon South on Sunday.

The one-year initiative will cover the communal spaces in Nee Soon Zone South D including the Yishun Stadium, Sports Hall and Recreation Centre, residential blocks 816 to 849 and areas like grass patches, fields and basketball courts. Smokers are encouraged to smoke only at the six designated smoking points located within the zone.

No penalty will be involved if smokers are caught lighting up outside of the designated points. "It's more of a ground-up initiative by residents so at this stage, during this one-year pilot project, we're doing more of education," said grassroots adviser Lee Bee Wah. "With the help of the National Environment Agency and Health Promotion Board, we are training smoke-free ambassadors who will show them where these designated smoking points are and collect feedback."

The smoking points, each measuring three by three metres, are located in open-air areas such as grass patches. Each smoking point has partitions on three sides, an umbrella shelter as well as cigarette disposal bin.

The initiative, supported by the NEA and HPB, comes on top of complying with the smoking prohibition law. In January last year, the NEA extended the list of no-smoking places to include common areas of residential buildings, hospital outdoor compounds, and covered walkways and link ways, among others. Smokers who flout the law may be liable to a fine up to $1,000.

To create awareness for the pilot project, publicity materials like banners will be placed around Zone D.

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