SINGAPORE - The Bukit Timah division of Holland-Bukit Timah GRC will pilot two different enhanced designated smoking points at Clementi public housing estates from Wednesday (June 30).
They are located at the Build-To-Order Clementi Ridges and at Trivelis, built under the Design, Build and Sell Scheme.
Both smoking points offer cooled spaces for smokers.
According to Ms Angela Wong, 38, constituency director of the Bukit Timah Constituency Office, the trial will last for an estimated six months.
While enhanced designated smoking points have been used in industrial and commercial areas, these are the first two in residential settings, said Ms Wong.
The opening of the two enhanced designated smoking points on Wednesday morning was attended by Ms Sim Ann, adviser to Bukit Timah grassroots organisations and Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and National Development.
She said there had been more complaints about second-hand smoke from Bukit Timah residents, with people working from home during the Covid-19 pandemic.
"Across many communities, certainly in mine, our sense is that residential smoking has risen," she said.
To get smokers to use the enhanced designated smoking points, they are conveniently located near the flats. They also tackle the problem of daytime heat for smokers.
Ms Sim said: "Residents have pointed out that if the idea is for smokers to consider using these designated smoking points as opposed to smoking at home, the... design cannot be too basic. In particular, we need to consider how to deal with daytime temperatures."
One of the two spaces is an enclosed, filtered and air-conditioned unit provided by Smoking Cabin SG, and the other is an open-air unit designed and developed by ST Engineering, using its Airbitat sustainable deep cooling technology.
The enclosed cabin at Block 311A Clementi Avenue 4 is equipped with an air-cleaning system to protect non-smokers and improve air quality outside. Its air-conditioning turns on when it detects someone entering and is turned off after 10 minutes of inactivity.
It uses three different filters to convert the second-hand smoke into clean air.
The open-air unit at Block 312D Clementi Avenue 4 is cooled by the natural process of water evaporation.
The cooling can be activated within five seconds, by pressing a power button, which activates the unit to operate for 15 minutes.
With no chemical refrigerants, this unit is environmentally friendly and energy-efficient. The smoke is directed away and upwards by natural air exchange movements.
To limit the risk of Covid-19 transmission, spaces have been marked out in both enhanced designated smoking points.
Ms Sim said: "If we know of any issues, we are prepared to close both designated smoking points. At present, we set it as four persons per enhanced designated smoking point."
Residents have voiced their support for the trial.
Human resource executive Natalie Tan, 32, welcomed the measure for the well-being of her child, who is 18-months-old.
She said: "I like to bring my son to the playground daily. While it is fortunate that my neighbours do not smoke, I occasionally see people smoking as they walk by. As the smoking point is conveniently located just opposite the playground, it will be safer and healthier for the children playing and running around."