The article, 2,900 monthly complaints on smoking in prohibited areas in 2020 (Feb 3), affirms the National Environment Agency's (NEA) approach in progressively extending the prohibition of smoking to more places. It also indicates the public's awareness of prohibited smoking areas, and the ease of submitting a complaint to NEA for follow-up action.
However, the discussion stops short of mentioning the effectiveness of enforcement action taken to address these complaints.
Since the public has made the effort to provide feedback, it will be encouraging to know how many of these were acted on.
Otherwise, it would result in a drop in complaints, not because of stepped-up enforcement, but because the public has lost confidence and finds it pointless to bring up these issues as no (or slow) action is taken.
The article also mentions some considerations by NEA when determining if smoking should be prohibited in a place. It is also relocating bins, particularly those with ashtrays, in non-prohibited places to areas with less footfall.
As smoking and littering are correlated, doing so may encourage littering instead, especially at hot spots, thereby creating a different problem.
Can NEA also look into installing more designated smoking areas at hot spots, complete perhaps with interlocking doors, to prevent smoke from escaping, as well as an air purifier to maintain the air quality?
Jeremy Soh Wee Sian