MustShareMail: Smokers Risk Exposing Others To Covid-19 With Masks Down

Hello Must Share News Team,

I would like to write about my observations and opinion relating to the spread of Covid-19, and in the hope to create greater awareness in Singapore.

The government has made it mandatory to wear masks so as to reduce the spread of the disease, as Covid-19 is spread predominantly through droplets.

Even on trains and with masks on, we are advised not to speak to reduce the transmissions of these droplets.

There have been many cases where people have been arrested and fined, and even making headlines for not wearing a mask in public. However, there is no regulation governing smoking.

It can be observed in every corner of the country, in open areas, smokers can take down their mask, light up a cigarette and begin puffing smoke into the air.

The mandate to wear a mask is to reduce such droplets being transmitted in the air. For the smokers to puff out the smoke from their lungs, the force is definitely larger than normal breathing, and there is a very, very high risk of droplets being released with the smoke into the air.

I have observed that many smokers do not stand stationary and smoke at a designated corner, away from the crowds.

There have been many cases along high traffic flow areas where a smoker from the crowd just suddenly stops in the middle of the road, take down his/her mask, light a cigarette, and continue walking along with the crowd, puffing the smoke into the faces of the people around them.

This, I believe, is a huge, huge risk for the spread of Covid-19.

In addition, not only is this a risk for Covid-19 spread, the health of the public is at risk, as they are exposed to secondhand smoke.

This is very unfair to non-smokers, as they are exposed to negative externalities from smokers. It is up to the smokers’ discretion on risking their own health, but they should not put the health of others at risk.

Especially in such a critical time, where the country is fighting hard to prevent the spread of COVID, I hope that the smokers can be more aware of their surroundings and be more considerate.

I also believe policies could be implemented to tackle this issue, e.g implementing designated smoking areas away from high traffic areas, and not allowing smokers to smoke when on the move.

Thank you.

JT, a non-smoker who is concerned about his health

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