NEA, premise operators need to fight smoking problem together

Operators of smoking prohibited premises are required by law to request smokers to cease smoking or leave the premises.
Operators of smoking prohibited premises are required by law to request smokers to cease smoking or leave the premises. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

We thank Mr Noel Vikram for his feedback (Smoking rampant inside Orchard Towers, April 2).

The National Environment Agency (NEA) is aware of certain smoking hot spots across the island, including Orchard Towers.

The NEA has been working closely with the building management of these premises and also carrying out regular enforcement inspections to tackle the problem.

In 2018, more than 30,000 tickets were issued to errant smokers. In Orchard Towers, enforcement action was taken against 40 smokers as well as operators of premises.

Operators of smoking prohibited premises are required by law to request smokers to cease smoking or leave the premises. NEA's assistance can be sought if patrons refuse to comply.

Last year, the NEA took enforcement action more than 300 times against operators for failing to notify smokers to cease smoking.

The NEA will continue to monitor the situation at Orchard Towers closely and work with the key stakeholders to ensure that it is kept under control. The NEA takes a tough stance against errant smokers.

Our enforcement officers conduct regular patrols at known smoking hot spots and other locations in response to public feedback.

Everyone can play a part by reminding smokers not to light up in prohibited areas and to be socially responsible and considerate when smoking in public places.

Tony Teo

Director, Environmental Public Health Operations

National Environment Agency

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 10, 2019, with the headline 'NEA, premise operators need to fight smoking problem together'. Print Edition | Subscribe