There have been comments that making Orchard Road smoke-free will make already-poor business in the area worse (Tougher curbs on smoking in food places, Orchard Rd; and Food operators fret; smokers say they'll adjust to new rules; July 1).
However, I believe the contrary - not only will business not be adversely affected, but a smoke-free Orchard Road also has potential benefits for businesses.
First, the non-smoking segment is a far bigger segment of consumers for Orchard Road merchants, as the majority of Singaporeans are non-smokers.
Second, merchants could take advantage of Orchard Road being the only shopping area that is smoke-free, and attract more consumers to shop there.
They could promote this as a unique smoke-free shopping experience, or as a healthy activity for the whole family.
Third, consumers like me who previously avoided Orchard Road because of the smoke-filled pavements will now be happy to patronise the area more frequently and show our support for a smoke-free shopping environment.
Merchants could, in fact, be gaining back some of what they have lost.
Far from dooming Orchard Road, the smoke-free experience could instead give it a shot in the arm.
Lim Teck Koon