Need to screen off smoking areas at eateries

I often patronise the coffee shops in Housing Board estates.

I notice that owners of these eating establishments often place smoking and non-smoking tables close to one another. There is no clear demarcation between these smoking and non-smoking areas.

One can discern the different tables only by the small plastic tags fixed on the tables for non-smokers.

The proximity of the tables defeats the very purpose of "segregating" the two areas.

The other day, while I was half way through my meal at an eatery in Sembawang Drive, I caught a whiff of tobacco smoke from a table behind me.

The National Environment Agency (NEA) should make it mandatory for eatery owners to partition the smoking and non-smoking sections.

This can be done by using a polycarbonate screen or one made of some other suitable material. It can be a permanent or temporary structure. A screen barrier would help to contain the harmful tobacco smoke, preventing it from wafting over to the non-smoking area.

More should be done to protect the health of non-smokers. I hope the NEA will act on this issue.

Catherine Tai Siew Leng (Ms)