Photo credit: YOUTHOPIA

Singaporean youths react to smoking ban extension

While some felt the new ruling is the right move to reduce second-hand smoke, others felt it puts smokers at a disadvantage.

Caleb Lau

Grew up a musician, found a calling in photography and writing. Still in love with all of them.

Published: 8 March 2022, 5:44 PM

Over 90 places will be added to Singapore’s smoking prohibition list as part of the move to a smoke-free future, announced Senior Minister of State for Sustainability and the Environment Amy Khor on Monday (Mar 7). 

At the Committee of Supply Debate in Parliament, she said this will ensure more recreational sites can be enjoyed without the exposure to second-hand smoke. 

The extension of the ban covers all remaining parks, ten recreational beaches and PUB sites under its active, beautiful and clean waters programme.

We spoke to some youths, from smokers to non-smokers, on their views toward the ban.

Ban impositions cannot resolve second-hand smoking issue

“It is better not to instil an absolute law because it just creates newer problems.


The Smoking (Prohibition in Certain Places) Act 1992 administered by NEA, supports the national effort to promote a smoke-free lifestyle in Singapore and helps to reduce the exposure of the public to second-hand tobacco smoke. PHOTO CREDIT: JAI


“By stopping others from smoking at one place, they will opt to smoke at another location nearby or do so secretly, which affects others. 

“The Government can instead install more designated smoking corners rather than to completely stop the opportunity to smoke.” – Rafly Ramadhan, 28, Operations Manager

Where do smokers go then?

“I know that smoking harms myself and others around me, but I still smoke because I enjoy it. Personally, I don’t think the smoking ban will affect me, since I usually only smoke at home.

“I do recognise that the Government is trying to ban more places to decrease the number of smokers in Singapore. But I do hope that the Government stops banning more places for smoking, as the smokers would eventually have a hard time because we will end up having no place to smoke at. ”  – Sim Joon Hsien, 20, Student

Cleaner air for public spaces

“I think the new smoking ban will bring some positive change as it reduces the places where people can smoke, which then reduces the effect of second-hand smoke.


In 2021, more than 13,000 tickets were issued for smoking in prohibited areas, with close to 40 per cent of them taken for smoking in prohibited areas in housing estates. PHOTO CREDIT: PAWEL CZERWINSKI VIA UNSPLASH


“I am definitely more in favour of this extended smoking prohibition. Public spaces like the beach and parks should be kept clean and smoke-free as many families go there, and I don’t think it’s fair for them to inhale all the second-hand smoke while they are enjoying their time.” – Danian Aqim, 19, Student

Those with breathing difficulties may face less issues

“As I have a sensitive nose, I tend to have breathing difficulties when I inhale secondhand smoke. So I think with less people smoking, it can hopefully result in a cleaner environment with fresher air. Especially since we have to wear masks now, it is already difficult to have a breath of fresh air.

“I’m in favour of the smoking prohibition because it can hopefully encourage smokers to stop smoking too.

“I’m grateful for the stricter regulations as citizens’ health can be further protected.” – Rebecca Liaw, 20, Student

Beneficial for the non-smoking community

“I do feel that this smoking ban would benefit non-smokers like me. Second-hand smoke is something that many are concerned about, and I don’t think non-smokers should suffer due to the actions of others. I don’t actively avoid areas where people smoke, but I would tend to walk further away if I see one. Or hold my breath when I walk past.


According to the Ministry of Health, second-hand smoke is estimated to be responsible for close to 300 deaths annually. PHOTO CREDIT: ANDRES SIIMON VIA UNSPLASH​​


“It is great that currently, Singapore enforces strict smoking bans and demarcate areas for smoking, as it is more beneficial for the non-smoking community when these measures are further tightened. Furthermore, with the current spread of COVID-19, I do think that it is not wise for a group of people to gather with their masks down just to smoke. So I’m definitely in favour of the extended smoking prohibition.” – Michelle Yu, 22, Student

Written by Caleb Lau, Shannon Kuan, Kassandra Kasman, Muhd Zahin Ilmi, and Nurul Mardhiah Omar

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