Smoking to be banned from all hawker centres: Grace Fu

87 out of 114 hawker centres in Singapore are currently smoke-free.

Matthias Ang | January 06, 2021, 06:20 PM

The Ministry of Sustainability and Environment (MSE) has a long-term plan to transit all hawker centres into smoke-free public community dining places.

This is to protect diners from second-hand tobacco smoke and create a more pleasant dining environment, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu said in a written reply in Parliament on Jan. 4.

Existing smoking corners at hawker centres will be progressively removed

As of Dec. 2020, out of 114 hawker centres, 27 have smoking corners, Fu noted.

These areas will be progressively removed at opportune moments such as during repairs or redecoration works.

The National Environmental Agency (NEA) will consult local stakeholders such as the Hawkers' Associations on the matter.

Town councils urged to rescind smoking corners while upgrading hawker centre toilets

Fu also highlighted that hawker centres which are undergoing the Toilet Improvement Programme (TIP) can qualify for increased funding if their smoking corners are rescinded.

The minister further urged Town Councils to apply for the TIP to upgrade the hawker centre toilets and rescind smoking corners at the same time.

In pointing out that 87 hawker centres, as of Dec. 2020, are currently smoke free, Fu said that MSE has required all hawker centres constructed since 2015 to adhere to such a status.

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Top photo courtesy of Travis Loh