In debating the issue of smoking, Grace Fu said in Parliament on Monday (Jan 4), that smoking at home is an offense harder to catch than being naked at home.
Her explanation: “It will be challenging to track down the smoker or obtain evidence of an act of smoking being committed without rather intrusive methods given the current technology, affecting even the privacy of innocent neighbours.”
She added that such efforts may still be futile if the smoker hides behind a pillar, frosted glass windows or curtains to avoid detection.
“In contrast, a complainant would more easily pinpoint the location and capture evidence of a nude person exposing himself or herself to public view, to assist with investigation”, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu said.
Responding to a written question filed by Mr Louis Ng (Nee Soon GRC), Ms Fu noted that, “One can smell smoke even without having sight of the smoker, or the ability to pinpoint where the smoke is coming from”.
Mr Ng called for a ban on smoking near windows or balconies at homes in early October last year.
Ms Fu’s comparison between being in the buff and taking a puff came about since there were already laws in place to police people’s behaviour at home – like Section 27A of the Miscellaneous Offences (Public Order and Nuisance) Act, where one cannot bare it all while exposed to public view, even if they were in their own homes or private spaces.
She added that the Minister of Sustainability and the Environment did not think it necessary to place a ban on the issue, but assured Mr Ng that tackling second-hand smoke was a priority for her ministry.
Ms Fu said: “We will continue to evaluate the effectiveness of our efforts in protecting the public from second-hand tobacco smoke, and consider reasonable and practical solutions as they emerge to further strengthen these efforts”. /TISG