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Smoking ban extended to universities, private-hire cars

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Undergraduates, teachers and private-hire car passengers will find it harder to smoke under new restrictions taking effect from this Sunday.

The National Environment Agency (NEA) announced yesterday that smoking will be banned in the outdoor areas of universities and within the compounds of private education institutions (PEI).

It will be limited to designated smoking areas at universities and PEIs where degrees are offered.

Smoking will also be banned within 5m of the compounds of schools like preschools, madrasahs, junior colleges and polytechnics.


Smokers will also be unable to puff in excursion buses, trishaws and private-hire cars used by firms such as Grab and Uber. This includes ride-sharing services such as GrabShare and UberPool.

The move is an extension of the Smoking (Prohibition in Certain Places) Act, which aims to reduce the exposure of the public to second-hand smoke. After the extension, there will be more than 32,000 places where smoking is banned.

NEA has been expanding the list of smoke-free places covered under the Act, in consultation with the public and relevant stakeholders.

It said yesterday that it will "take an advisory approach" in the first three months after the ban begins to give the public time to adapt, and will verbally warn those caught smoking in the prohibited areas. However, it may fine those who carry on smoking despite warnings.

From Jan 1, 2018, NEA will take enforcement action against all caught smoking in the newly prohibited areas.