Singapore – A woman took to social media to complain about second-hand smoke coming from her neighbour. The National Environment Agency (NEA) took no action though she complained three times, she said.
“My neighbour is a chain smoker who smokes incessantly throughout the day, even at hours like 1 am,” wrote Facebook user Lisa Neo in Complaint Singapore’s page on Thursday (Feb 4).
She first saw him smoking in the common staircase area and told him to smoke elsewhere where other residents would not be affected.
“Now he is smoking at the window of his unit, just as bad, or worse, now that he smokes even more frequently,” said Ms Neo. The smoke gets worse when the winds are strong. “I think this is worse than haze from a forest fire.”
To date, Ms Neo has called the NEA three times. “First time, I was told they would send an officer to monitor. No follow-up and smoking problem did not stop,” she said.
The second time she called, an NEA representative said he had no jurisdiction to address the issue but would pass on the message to the officer concerned. “The officer called back the next day just to say they cannot do anything,” said Ms Neo.
Her third call was on Thursday. “The person also said the same and said it is useless to complain to him. (He) repeated that NEA does not have the mandate to take action since this person is not smoking at the common area,” said Ms Neo.
She reiterated that the issue was not smoking in common areas but “had everything to do with being subjected to the harmful effects of second-hand smoke.”
“If having a livable environment is still within the purview of NEA, please do not say you do not have the mandate to act,” she stressed.
Netizens suggested how she could handle the situation, for example, by buying an air purifier. Others assured her that there were people like parliamentarian Louis Ng fighting to ban smoking near windows.
Meanwhile, Facebook user Candice Yeo had a suggestion for people who smoke at home. “Close your windows and doors tight. Don’t expect the non-smokers to close cause we didn’t create the problem,” she said./TISG
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