Smoked Out

The crackdown on smokers puffing away in non-smoking areas has taken a more covert route recently. Plainclothes public health inspectors from the National Environment Agency (NEA) conducted sting operations at two coffee shops along Bukit Batok Ave 3, which have resulted in a number of busted smokers, all of whom found their wallets lighter by $200 each.It’s great that the NEA’s stepped up measures to curb this problem, but what we’ve got a qualm with is the resulting consequences of these offenders’ actions. We mean, really—a fine? Come on, NEA! If you guys think that parting with money is going to be a suitable deterrent for the same people who spend around $10—at least—every day just to inhale toxins that will almost guarantee some kind of health problems down the road, you’re sorely mistaken.The fact of the matter is that, if you really want to punish a smoker, you’re going to have to hit them where it hurts. That’s why we’ve come up with a list of alternatives on how to tackle this problem.- Confine smokers to house arrest for a month with a practically limitless supply of ciggies—then don’t give them a single lighter or match.- Have NEA inspectors douse the cigarette—and its smoker—with every last drop of flame retardant from a very large fire extinguisher.- Take away the cool factor: Enforce a law that the only way smokers can light up in public is if they wear a clown outfit, complete with a big red nose.- Let’s get a bit hardcore here and install a device on coffee shop seats that will administer a small, but still painful, electric shock to anyone who starts puffing in a non-smoking area.- Have them sit through three hours of those old “Too Tough to Puff” commercials.- $200? We’ll adapt Chris Rock’s stand on the price of bullets and make the fine for each ciggie $2,000—then we’ll see if they’ll quit for life.