Second-hand smoke

If smoking is personal choice, then smoke should remain in personal space

I am one of the many sufferers who have to live with breathing in toxic second-hand smoke every day (Ventilation is good, but we can't open our windows because of second-hand smoke; and Another plea to help sufferers of second-hand smoke, both June 9).

While I acknowledge that both smokers and non-smokers should have the freedom to do as they wish within their own homes, whatever behaviour they undertake should not actively infringe on their neighbours' lives and health.

If smokers choose to smoke in their own homes, they should do it within the enclosed space of their homes and close their windows to ensure that smoke does not escape.

They should not smoke at their open windows, on their balconies or patios, or in shared common areas, where smoke can easily travel to neighbouring flats.

A smoker's personal decision to smoke should remain just that - personal - and his smoke should not intrude into others' lives, especially those who don't live in his household.

If smokers are able to keep their smoke to themselves, I feel they should be allowed to smoke in their own homes.

However, since there are so many people out there suffering from second-hand smoke, it is clear that a good proportion of smokers are unaware or do not care that their actions can have an impact on other people.

This is where the law must come in to protect the public from these selfish decisions and actions.

Khoo Whee Leng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 12, 2021, with the headline 'If smoking is personal choice, then smoke should remain in personal space'. Subscribe