The number of smoking-related complaints in Housing Board (HDB) areas went up to 1,290 in the first nine months of this year, eclipsing the 216 made in the whole of 2017, said Senior Minister of State for National Development Sim Ann yesterday.
The number of complaints has been increasing each year.
There were 370 in 2018, and 710 last year. Ms Sim added that the authorities were unable to determine whether these cases occurred in common areas or elsewhere, in her response to a question from Mr Louis Ng (Nee Soon GRC) on the amount of feedback that has been given regarding second-hand smoke in people’s homes.
In Parliament last month, Mr Ng called for a ban on residents smoking near their windows or on the balconies of their homes.
Ms Sim said that this year, HDB received some 600 complaints on social disamenities such as cigarette smoke, noise, foul smells and disputes with neighbours each month from January to March.
“This increased to about 2,100 cases of feedback per month from April to July 2020, as more people worked or studied from home due to the circuit breaker measures,” she noted.
“From August 2020 onwards, likely due to the return of children to school and more employees to workplaces, the number of feedback per month has fallen to about 1,500.”
In contrast, from 2015 to last year, HDB received an average of about 3,400 reports on social disamenities per year – an average of around 280 per month.
Ms Sim said that going forward, the Government intends to track disputes between neighbours more closely, with the aim of promoting harmonious living and strengthening community norms.