SINGAPORE — From Saturday (1 October), those caught smoking at all public parks and gardens, 37 water sites and 10 recreational beaches may be fined up to $1,000.
This follows a three-month advisory period that began in July and will end on Friday, which has seen more than 1,200 verbal advisories issued to errant smokers.
Officers from the National Environment Agency (NEA), the National Parks Board (NParks), National Water Agency PUB, and Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC) can take enforcement action for smoking offences in these places, said the agencies in a joint news release on Thursday.
Anyone caught smoking in these areas may face a composition fine of $200, or a fine of up to $1,000 if convicted in court.
To allow smokers to adjust to smoke-free parks, designated smoking areas are provided in 12 regional parks as well as within Palawan Beach, Siloso Beach, and Tanjong Beach, the agencies said.
The parks include East Coast Park, Changi Beach Park, Pasir Ris Park, West Coast Park, Sembawang Park, and Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park.
"No Smoking by law" signage, posters, and banners have also been installed at the new smoke-free locations.
The rules also apply at 37 PUB’s Active, Beautiful, Clean Waters sites and reservoir parks, including MacRitchie Reservoir Park, Sengkang Floating Wetland, Jurong Lake, Lorong Halus Wetland and Lower Seletar Family Bay.
Smoking is currently prohibited in more than 49,000 premises, both indoor and outdoor in Singapore.
In the first half of this year, about 7,400 tickets were issued for smoking in prohibited areas including neighbourhood parks in private and public housing estates, reservoirs, and nature reserves.
Smokers are also not allowed to light up at pedestrian overhead bridges, covered or underground walkways, void decks as well as any areas within five metres of school compounds, bus stops, or swimming pools.
They are allowed to smoke in unsheltered, open spaces in residential estates and town centres as well as uncovered walkways.
Singapore's smoking prevalence rate in 2020 was 10.1 per cent. The legal age for smoking was gradually raised from 19 years in 2019 to 21 years in 2021.
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