SINGAPORE - Undergraduates and teachers, along with private-hire car drivers and passengers, will find it harder to smoke, under new restrictions taking effect from this Sunday (Oct 1).
The National Environment Agency (NEA) announced on Tuesday that smoking will be banned in the outdoor areas of universities and within the compounds of private institutions, though it will be allowed at designated smoking areas.
Smoking will also be banned within 5m of schools like preschools, madrasahs, junior colleges and polytechnics.
Additionally, smokers will find themselves unable to puff in excursion buses, trishaws and private-hire cars used by firms such as Grab and Uber, even when ride-sharing with services like GrabShare and UberPool.
This is an extension of the Smoking (Prohibition in Certain Places) Act, which aims to reduce the exposure of the public to second-hand smoke, and also supports the national effort to promote a smoke-free lifestyle in Singapore.
NEA has been expanding the list of smoke-free places covered under the Act, in consultation with the public and relevant stakeholders.
NEA said on Tuesday that it will "take an advisory approach" in the first three months after the ban begins to give the public time to adapt, and will verbally warn those caught smoking in the prohibited areas.
However, it may fine those who carry on smoking despite prior warnings.
From Jan 1, 2018, NEA will take enforcement action against all caught smoking in the newly prohibited areas.
"No Smoking" signs will be set up in these new places, and bins with ashtrays will either be shifted to new locations, or be replaced by bins with no ashtrays.
Last year, about 19,000 tickets were issued to people caught smoking in prohibited areas.