PM Lee attends Nee Soon South constituency event on smoking zones

SINGAPORE - Singapore is studying more ways to discourage people from smoking, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Sunday at a community event marking the set up of "designated smoking points" in all of Nee Soon South ward.

The hope is that smokers will adopt these points as the only places in the neighbourhood where they smoke in public. The roll-out follows a successful year-long pilot in one of the constituency's precincts.

Mr Lee said that Singapore could have such designated smoking areas all over the country if it works well in the constituency.

Smokers will not be fined or punished for not using the designated smoking points in Nee Soon South. Rather, MP Lee Bee Wah characterised it as a "collaborative, community-led attempt to improve the air quality and reduce secondhand smoke in Nee Soon South".

PM Lee said that the Government is also studying other methods to discourage smoking, be it raising taxes on cigarettes even more or enacting a law like that recently passed in Australia mandating that cigarettes are sold in "plain packaging".

"We have been studying what the Australians are doing and I think we should consider moving in this direction," he said at the Springleaf Nature Park event.

rchang@sph.com.sg