Saturday, November 12, 2005

Holey smokes! Singapore is burning too

From 1 October 2005, it is a civil offense to smoke in a Bus Interchange or Bus Stop in Singapore. Singapore, and generally pretty much elsewhere, is taking the enlightened step of banning smoking from an increasing number of public places.

I wait for buses every weekday at a bus stop just below the Dover MRT (an above ground subway train stop) station that fronts Singapore Polytechnic (a large post-secondary educational institution) in Singapore. Before 1 Oct 2005, students of this institution light up (their cigarettes of course) and smoke away at this bus stop as if there is no tomorrow. They cannot smoke in the MRT station nor the school grounds because its not allowed by the station authorities and the Polytechnic. There are personnel manning these stations as well as wardens policing the Polytechnic grounds. So poor people like us have had to endure frequent whiffs of smoke that float over while I stand as far as I can while waiting for the bus.

Singapore outlawed smoking at bus stops from 1 Oct 2005 - not a moment too soon, and I had the pleasure of telling a student off for lighting up beside me while I was waiting for the bus. Well, yesterday, a group of about 5 students were smoking away at the same spot, oblivious (or defiant) of the law of the land. The smoke was swirling among them that it looked like a smoking party, minus the pubs. I decided that 1 against 5 wasn't good odds for me, so I sat as far away as possible. Sigh, it would seem that nothing has changed, law or no law.

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