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Extend ban on smoking to all parks in Singapore

With World No Tobacco Day coming up on May 31, I hope our Government will implement further measures to keep Singapore smoke-free.

One excellent way would be to extend the smoking ban in the parks.

Currently, not all parks are covered by this ban - only those managed by JTC Corporation and town councils in public housing estates and neighbourhood parks managed by the National Parks Board (NParks) in private estates are covered.

One is never quite certain whether a smoker can light up within a park or not.

At Punggol Park, for instance, it seems that the ban covers extremely limited sections, such as sheltered areas, the children's playground and the fitness corner. Thus, much of the park is open to smokers. Even NParks workers smoke in the carpark within the park.

Smokers argue that it is their right to smoke in areas not covered by the ban, regardless of whether the smoke wafts over to non-smoking areas.

Most people go to parks to enjoy the fresh air, so exposure to second-hand smoke defeats the purpose of going to a park.

Places like New York City, Taipei, Hong Kong and Toronto already ban smoking in all public parks. Such a move is imperative in densely populated cities such as Singapore.

I sincerely hope that the smoking ban can be extended to all parks in Singapore. This would make it easier for non-smokers to know their rights, and lead to fewer misunderstandings.

Sherley Servos (Mrs)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on May 28, 2017, with the headline 'Extend ban on smoking to all parks in Singapore'. Print Edition | Subscribe