[About this blog] Inspired by local soccer player Mike Lim during my rookie reporter days at Singapore Polytechnic, I set up this blog in August 2002. I feel that blogging is a novel platform to document interesting facets of my life and my thoughts on certain issues. [Email blogger] ephraim@singnet.com.sg

Friday, January 02, 2009

[Smoking bent]
I'm just wondering if the smoking ban really works.

As most would know, the extended smoking ban kicked off today. And that means no smoking five metres away from the entrances of buildings. So before doing my installation, I met with some of the participating artists for lunch. Then they wanted a puff afterwards when they were back at the SMU Gallery.

There was a sign on a pillar in line with the new rules. After measuring five metres, one of them cheekily said that the school should have drawn a line and write "smoking is fine from this point onwards". Hilarious.

But even before the extended ban kicked in, I had already thought that monitoring smoking in public places would be a big problem. Unless there are surveillance cameras everywhere but I am not suggesting that. It seems to say: "Big brother is watching you."

Well this is what I see at the dustbin at the bus stop near my flat. I take the bus from this bus stop every morning.

So you tell me whether the smoking ban really works or not. Either that or people are really bent on smoking. And what are the chances of getting caught?

The chance of getting caught is rather slim - unless someone calls the National Environment Agency's hotline while you are smoking and an officer teleports over, or the smoker is really lagi suay (Hokkien for very unfortunate).

Then the price to pay may be quite hefty for some. I recall once an old lady was issued a summons for smoking metres away from the allocated smoking corner. She was slapped with a fine she could not pay - it was a few hundred bucks if I am not wrong.

To sympathise or not to? Her fault or the Government's?


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