Rogue smokers at Orchard to get written warnings

Written advisories will be handed out instead of verbal ones to people caught smoking outside designated areas in Orchard Road from tomorrow.

Smokers will have to provide their particulars, unlike with the verbal advisories. The warnings remind smokers that being caught smoking outside designated areas from next month could mean a composition fine of $200, or up to the maximum court fine of $1,000.

The number of people told not to smoke outside designated areas in the Orchard shopping belt has fallen by around 67 per cent since the policy kicked in this year, based on figures revealed by the National Environment Agency (NEA) on Friday.

Verbal advisories have dropped steadily, from an average of 1,900 a day in the first week since they were issued to 627 last week.

NEA said in a Facebook post that it has been taking an advisory approach towards people smoking outside designated areas since the Orchard Road precinct became a no-smoking zone on Jan 1.

"Continued education and outreach are necessary to raise awareness and ensure greater compliance from smokers," it added.

Most smoking zones are marked as yellow boxes outside shopping centres and hotels.

The Straits Times reported last month that over 42,600 advisories were issued from Jan 1 to Feb 10, with most handed out at 313@Somerset, Orchard Central, Cathay Cineleisure Orchard and Mandarin Gallery. The busiest designated smoking area was at Ion Orchard.

Most advisories were issued from 1pm to 9pm, with the highest number on Sundays. Mondays and Tuesdays had the least number.

Around 70 per cent of the advisories issued in that period were to locals, and 30 per cent to foreigners.

Tee Zhuo

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on March 17, 2019, with the headline 'Rogue smokers at Orchard to get written warnings'. Print Edition | Subscribe