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Community-led smoke-free test zone in Singapore

Updated: 2014-01-06 11:22
( Xinhua)

SINGAPORE - Singapore's first community-led smoke-free zone went on trail on Sunday in the constituency of Nee Soon South, leaving only "designated points" in public areas that people could light up, local paper the Straits Times reported Monday.

The one-year pilot project is aimed at improving the air quality in the communal spaces of the community. Under the project, six designated smoking points are set up in the trail area named Nee Soon South Zone D.

The designated smoking points, each measuring 3 metres by 3 metres, are located in open-air areas like grass patches. Each has partitions on three sides, a parasol shelter and a cigarette disposal bin, the report said.

Smokers are urged to keep to the six designated points when they smoke in public in the zone. But the smokers will not be penalised if they are caught lighting up away from the designated points, the Straits Times added.

"It's a voluntary ground-up initiative by residents," the paper quoted grassroots adviser Lee Bee Wah as saying.

The initiative follows the extension of the smoking restrictions that areas such as covered linkways and walkways, outdoor hospital compounds and common areas of residential buildings are also included as the smoke-free zone one year ago. The offenders may be fined a penalty of up to 1,000 Singapore dollars ($788.6).

The residents in the area raised their concerns when the community initially announced their plan to be the first "100 percent smoke-free" constituency, which means smokers cannot puff in any place other than "designated points" in public areas.

But some residents still welcome the initiative, saying that smoke-free zone could provide better environment for children, elderly and sick people.

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