Have you spotted this in Nee Soon South?
They are the designated smoking corners launched on Sunday in a bid to turn the town into a smoke-free zone.
What a way to bring them smokers together, hey?
While smokers in other parts of Singapore are banned from lighting up at places like sheltered walkways, bus shelters and common areas of residential buildings. Those in Nee Soon South have special corners erected just for them. And, they’re sheltered.
These corners even have special concrete pathways leading to them. Wow.
But here’s the catch. Nee Soon South smokers are not allowed to puff away at all other public areas in the neighbourhood. This means no smoking throughout Nee Soon South apart from the designated smoking corners.
Thankfully, you also have your own flat to smoke in. Unless the rule extends to include flats as well. But let’s hope that won’t happen…yet.
Overzealous, you might say? Well, the move has been criticised by many smokers, including those from other parts of Singapore.
“Frankly, I think it’s ridiculous. There is no incentive for smokers to go to one of those corners and smoke. I think it is a poorly thought out measure to keep community spaces free of smoke…I highly doubt that it will change anything,” said 20-year-old smoker, Ravin Kumar, a polytechnic student from Bedok.
“New smoking corners seem quite useless. They are too few spots for an area so big…Smokers will definitely be against it. They’re already paying the ridiculous taxes imposed on cigarettes and now their rights are being restricted too. It seems like an unfair rule,” said another smoker, a student who wants to be known as John.
It’s getting harder to be a smoker in Singapore, it seems.
When the smoking ban was imposed in the city-state in January 2013, many smokers were groaning about it too.
Apart from the sheltered places, smokers across Singapore have also been banned from lighting up at pedestrian overhead bridges and the outdoor areas within hospital compounds.
If smokers do not abide by the ban, they may be fined up to S$1,000.
Fortunately for those in Nee Soon, no penalties will be given if they refuse to puff away at those tent-like smoking corners, specially set up for them.
Try adding some chairs, that might work.