Operators of premises required by law to act against smokers

We thank Mr Raymund Koh Joo Guan ("Some public places need 'No Smoking' signs badly"; Jan 12) and Mr Patrick Tan Siong Kuan ("Get building security involved in anti-smoking drive"; Jan 14) for their views and suggestions.

Operators and managers of premises are required by law to stop patrons from smoking in "no smoking" areas, including within 5m of the entrance or exit of any building, or to request patrons who refuse to cease smoking to leave the premises immediately.

In addition, there are to be "No Smoking" signs within areas where smoking is prohibited. Operators and managers of premises who fail to comply with these requirements may be fined up to $1,000.

The National Environment Agency (NEA) also encourages operators to demarcate Designated Smoking Areas within their premises and to direct smokers to smoke at these areas.

The NEA will continue to take a strict stance against smokers who flout the law and our officers actively check and patrol smoking hot spots, as well as locations which we receive public feedback on.

In 2016, about 19,000 tickets were issued for smoking in prohibited areas.

However, as smoking is prohibited in more than 32,000 premises, it is not possible for the NEA to deploy officers at all these locations all the time.

Tony Teo
Environmental Public Health Operations
National Environment Agency

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 20, 2017, with the headline 'Operators of premises required by law to act against smokers'. Subscribe