Written warnings to be issued to rogue smokers in Orchard Road from March 18

A designated smoking area (DSA) near Orchard Towers on Jan 1, 2019. NEA has been issuing verbal advisories to those found smoking outside the DSAs in Orchard Road.

SINGAPORE - From Monday (March 18), the National Environment Agency (NEA) will start to issue written advisories instead of verbal ones to those not smoking within the designated smoking areas (DSAs) in Orchard Road.

The written advisories will remind smokers that enforcement will start on April 1 and will require offenders to give their particulars, unlike the process for the verbal advisory thus far, NEA said on Friday.

From next month, those caught smoking outside designated areas may face a composition fine of $200, or up to the maximum court fine of $1,000, NEA said.

The number of people told not to smoke outside designated areas in the popular shopping belt has dropped by around 67 per cent since the policy kicked in this year.

Verbal advisories given to such people have dropped steadily from an average of 1,900 a day the first week to 627 last week.

This is also down from the figure of 710 on average per day reported in The Straits Times last month.

In its Facebook post, the NEA said that it has been taking an advisory approach towards people found smoking outside the DSAs 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.

The majority of the DSAs are marked as yellow boxes outside shopping centres and hotels.

ST reported last month that more than 42,600 advisories were issued from Jan 1 to Feb 10, with most of them issued at 313@Somerset, Orchard Central, Cathay Cineleisure Orchard and Mandarin Gallery. The busiest DSA was at Ion Orchard.

A majority of the advisories were issued from 1pm to 9pm as well as on Sunday. Mondays and Tuesdays had the least number of advisories.

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

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