Laws surrounding the smoking of cigarettes in Singapore are stringent.
- It is an offence for a person to smoke in non-smoking areas listed under the Smoking (Prohibition in Certain Places) Act.
- Most public places in Singapore prohibits the smoking of cigarettes. Various deterrence are set out to discourage smoking in Singapore, anti-smoking advertisements can be regularly seen on television and newspaper as well as on the cigarette boxes itself.
- The areas of prohibition and punishment can be found under Section 3 of the Smoking (Prohibition in Certain Places) Act:
“(1) The Agency may, with the approval of the Minister, by notification in the Gazette and subject to such conditions as the Agency may think fit, specify —
(a) Any premises or building or such part thereof or any class of premises or buildings or such parts thereof —
(i) Being used for commercial, industrial or recreational purposes; or
(ii) To which members of the public or a section of the public have or ordinarily would have access whether on payment of a fee or otherwise;
(b) Any common property or limited common property of any residential premises or building; or
(c) Any public service vehicle or part thereof or any class of public service vehicles or parts thereof,
as being a place or places or a vehicle or vehicles in which smoking shall not be permitted either permanently or during such time or for such period or periods or under such circumstances as the Agency may, with the approval of the Minister, prescribe.
(2) Any person who smokes in any specified place or specified vehicle in contravention of any notification made under subsection (1) shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $1,000.”
Any offenders charged under the abovementioned section can be arrested without a warrant under Section 4 of the Smoking (Prohibition in Certain Places) Act:
“(1) Any person reasonably suspected of having committed an offence under this Act may be arrested without warrant by any police officer or authorised officer and produced before a District Court or a Magistrate’s Court.
(2) Notwithstanding any other written law, any police officer or authorised officer who, having effected an arrest in accordance with subsection (1), is satisfied as to the identity, name and place of residence of the person arrested may, instead of producing such person before a District Court or a Magistrate’s Court or to a police station, serve upon such person a notice in such form as may be determined under section 9 requiring the person to attend at such Court, at such time and on such date as may be specified in the notice.
(3) For the purpose of satisfying himself as to the identity of the person arrested, the police officer or authorised officer may require such evidence of identity as he may consider necessary to be furnished by that person.
(4) A duplicate of the notice served under subsection (2) shall be prepared by the police officer or authorised officer and produced by him to the District Court or the Magistrate’s Court if so required by the Court.
(5) Where an accused person appears before a District Court or a Magistrate’s Court in accordance with a notice served under subsection (2), the Court shall take cognizance of the offence alleged and shall proceed as though he were produced before it under subsection (1).
(6) If a person upon whom a notice has been served under subsection (2) fails to appear before a District Court or a Magistrate’s Court in accordance with the notice, the Court may issue a warrant for the arrest of that person.
(7) Where a person arrested under a warrant issued under subsection (6) is produced before a District Court or a Magistrate’s Court, the Court shall —
(a) Proceed as though he were produced before it under subsection (1); and
(b) At the conclusion of such proceedings, call upon him to show cause why he should not be punished for failing to attend in compliance with the notice served under subsection (2),
and if due cause is not shown, the Court may order him to pay a penalty not exceeding $1,000 or may commit him to prison for a term not exceeding one month.”
Some of the prohibited common places include link-ways from bus stops to residential blocks, void decks, corridors, staircases, stairwells and multi-purpose halls.
Some of the allowed common places include beaches, in private vehicles, residential homes, uncovered areas of the top of multi-storey car parks and on any vacant land.