Health is Wealth: The Push for a Smoke-Free Orchard Road

Woman writing the no smoking signSingapore’s National Environment Agency (NEA) has always been adamant about upholding the health and safety of its citizens and their surroundings. While there have been previous laws regarding the restriction on cigarettes and other tobacco products, the NEA pushes for a stricter implementation in Orchard Road.

Cementing the Ban

The famous shopping belt will soon become a smoke-free zone after a law banning public smoking and smoking corners at food establishments. Current designated smoking areas (DSAs) are in the Orchard Towers, Far East Plaza, Cuppage Terrace, The Heeren and behind Somerset MRT station. Building owners may still set up their own DSAs, but they need to comply with guidelines set by the NEA. By 2018, the government is determined to make Orchard Road smoke-free.

Annual licence renewals for establishments may keep their existing smoking areas. For those who are no longer allowed to put up DSAs but want to remind their customers of the law, Brady South Asia has a full range of No Smoking Signs that may communicate smoking restrictions for their clients.

We, the People

The government expects action not only from the commercial centres but also the citizens themselves. Since Orchard Road is a high-traffic road, NEA’s director-general of Public Health, Mr Derek Ho, saw it as a natural choice for the smoke-free zone implementation. He takes into consideration the interests of both smokers and non-smokers, finding a balance.

‘This is to allow smokers to have some space to continue to smoke’, says Mr Ho, ‘but also, at the same time, to separate and protect the non-smoking public’.

Other than the expected backlash from smokers, the authorities are hopeful that this will help uphold health and safety in Orchard Road. If the reception is positive and the restriction does what it aims to do, Mr Ho and the NEA may extend the law to more areas in the country.