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Nee Soon South to encourage smokers to use Designated Smoking Points (DSPs) within the community-initiated smoke-free Zone D, as supported by NEA and HPB

Singapore, 05 January 2014 – Nee Soon South constituency has taken the lead to introduce the first ever community-led smoke-free zone as part of the broader initiative to denormalise tobacco use in the community. With support from the National Environment Agency (NEA), the Health Promotion Board (HPB), Grassroots Adviser Er. Dr. Lee Bee Wah led some 200 residents and Grassroots leaders in the launch at Nee Soon South Zone D on Sunday, 5 January 2014.

  1. This one-year initiative aims to improve the air quality in the communal spaces of Nee Soon South Zone D by encouraging smokers to smoke only at the six Designated Smoking Points (DSPs) located within the zone. This is on top of complying with the smoking prohibition law that will continue to be enforced for the list of premises and areas that are covered under the law. This pilot project is a step towards the long-term policy intent to prohibit smoking at all indoor and outdoor places accessible to the public and to carve out designated smoking points in larger smoke-free areas.
  2. Er. Dr. Lee Bee Wah hopes that the combination of social pressure and outreach efforts will make smokers more conscious of the effect of second-hand smoke on non-smokers around them, and direct the smokers towards the use of DSPs whilst maintaining a smoke-free environment in the rest of the zone. She said, “Through educational outreach and social pressure, it is hoped that smokers will be convinced that they can play their part in protecting the health of their family and friends through the use of the DSPs. We look forward to the cooperation of smokers in helping to reduce the health risk associated with second-hand smoke.”
  3. The smoke–free zone covers the housing estate comprising blocks 816 to 849, and the Yishun Stadium, Sports Hall and Sports and Recreation Centre. The six DSPs are located at:
    1. grass patch beside Basketball court, in front of Blk 846
    2. grass patch between Blk 828 and Blk 836
    3. concrete space between Blk 824 and Blk 826
    4. grass patch near the carpark entrance to Blk 819
    5. grass patch between Nee Soon South CC and Blk 844
    6. grass patch between Blk 848 and Blk 849
  4. To create awareness for the pilot project, publicity materials such as banners, posters, floor decals will be placed strategically around Zone D. These publicity materials will inform residents of the DSP locations, and the extent of the community-initiated smoke-free zone.
  5. In addition, HPB’s Blue Ribbon Ambassadors, will also be on the ground to inform smokers of the initiative and to encourage smokers to access the various touch points available in the community to get cessation support. For instance, smokers can visit any of the participating pharmacies (Unity, Guardian and Watsons) around Zone ‘D’ for a free smokerlyser test and pick up a copy of the Quitpack to get started on their I Quit 28 Days Countdown challenge. Smokers can also call in to QuitLine at 1800-438-2000 for customised care and cessation support from trained Quit Consultants. For more information on I Quit, please visit Nee Soon South Grassroots Leaders will also be spreading the message and sharing with the residents on the pilot programme.
  6. In January 2013, NEA extended the list of smoking prohibition places to include common areas of residential buildings, covered linkways and walkways, overhead pedestrian bridges, within a 5–metre radius of bus shelters, and hospital outdoor compounds. Smokers who flouted the law may be liable to a fine up to $1,000.