Forum: Other options besides banning smoking at windows, balconies

I have a suggestion for MP Louis Ng regarding complaints about second-hand smoke from residents (GPC calls for ban on smoking at windows or balconies at home, Oct 6).

There are cigarettes that do not burn, hence no second-hand smoke will be produced. These are not to be confused with the vaping e-cigarettes, which are currently banned here.

Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and Vietnam, just to name a few countries, have already legalised the sale of heat-not-burn tobacco sticks. Why is Singapore banning these just because the heating mechanism is electric and thus classified under e-cigarettes?

These heated sticks are the best compromise: there is negligible smell, no ash, no fire and no second-hand smoke from a lit stick.

I hope the authorities can revisit this option, instead of banning residents from smoking at the windows or balconies of their homes, as suggested by the Government Parliamentary Committee for Sustainability and the Environment.

We all want to do what we want and it is human to argue for one's rights. As we cannot please everybody, we need to compromise.

Where is the right of the citizen to be secure and able to do what he wants freely in his own home and not be subject to prohibitions and intrusions?

Please do not take a heavy-handed approach to smokers as they form part of the Singapore community as well.

If Mr Ng has to ban something, perhaps he could consider banning walking while smoking. That, to me, is justifiable.

Look to Japan and its smoking laws - a wonderful model of compromise.

Chiu Hwee Hoon

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