Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

Singapore has tightened up its anti-smoking laws by banning smoking in colleges, schools, private clubs and air-conditioned shops from August 15. Although schools and junior colleges are totally smoke free, the ban applies only to covered structures in the universities.

Earlier, the ban applied only to air conditioned offices and factories and enclosed or air conditioned common areas of private resi-dential buildings which include stairways, enclosed elevator lobbies, toilets and pantries. The ministry of environment, however, says the present step has been taken to protect non-smo-kers from the harmful effects of passive smoking.

Despite these strict rules , a health ministry survey shows nearly 18 per cent of the population of three million smokes every day. Amidst 25 years of anti-smoking measures, the tobacco companies have posted a substantial increase in their earnings as the market is supported by the die-hard smokers. These companies have been able to raise prices without affecting the sale. The ban on most forms of advertisements and promotional activities related to tobacco, has also helped producers to save these costs.

The officials say they are determined to make Singa-pore the world's first smoke free nation. Fines are imposed on armed forces also who break rules while in uniform. Smoking is barred in cinema halls, fast food outlets, public buses, subways, government offices, hospitals and clinics. The display of signs for cigarettes in stores and the name or trademarks of cigarettes are not allowed on motor vehicles, souvenirs and gifts.

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