Want to get slapped with a US$730 fine? Smoke here

Here are some new rules you need to learn before going to Singapore. Source: Shutterstock.

STARTING 2019, Singapore’s bustling shopping central Orchard Road will go smoke-free.

The precinct-wide smoking ban was initially announced last year and set to be enforced in July this year, but it was pushed back to give businesses in the area more time to prepare.

Singapore already has considerably strict smoking rules.

Smoking is not allowed in most indoor locations on the island-city state although certain premises have designated areas for smoking, such as the airport and certain eateries. To reduce the exposure of the public to secondhand smoke, new rules are being rolled out.

In October 2017, smoking was banned in the outdoor areas of universities and inside the compounds of private institutions, except in designated smoking areas. Smoking has also been banned within five meters of educational institutions.

This means smokers can no longer light up freely in outdoor locations.

Source: Shutterstock.

The swanky tree-lined Orchard Road is Singapore’s most popular shopping street as it is home to fashion favorites, specialist stores, and loads of entertainment. A must-visit location, it is no wonder why it attracts tourists from all over the world.

However, from Jan 1, 2019, both locals and tourists alike will no longer be allowed to light up as they please, even if it is outdoors.

Smoking will only be allowed within designated smoking areas, which will be spaced between 100 meters and 200 meters apart, and there will be no more smoking corners in eateries within Orchard Road.

Operators and managers of smoking-prohibited premises are also required by law to request smokers to cease smoking or direct them to the nearest designated smoking area if they wish to continue smoking.

Singapore’s National Environment Agency (NEA) has set up 40 designated smoking areas at “suitable locations” to ensure the main Orchard Road pedestrian-filled walkways will be smoke-free.

Source: NEA.

To ensure a smooth transition for foreign visitors, the Singapore Tourism Board has detailed information on its website about the No Smoking Zone.

Publicity materials will also be displayed at Changi Airport, the Singapore Cruise Centre, and Marina Bay Cruise Centre, as well as four MRT stations (Orchard, Somerset, Newton, and Dhoby Ghaut).

Travel agents, tourist guides, and hotels will be informed as well. Additionally, community volunteers have already started engaging the public within the precinct.

For the first three months of the rollout, however, NEA will be taking an advisory approach. Those caught lighting up outside of designated smoking areas will simply receive a verbal warning.

But from April 1, 2019, onwards, repeat offenders and those caught doing so may face fines of up to $1,000 (US$730) fine.