Singapore to Ban Tobacco Products


Singapore: In a pre emptive measure to protect public health, Singapore is going to ban emerging tobacco products like e-cigarettes, smokeless cigars and cigarillos from tomorrow, an official said on Tuesday.

Any person who contravenes the ban shall be liable to a fine not exceeding SGD 10,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or both, and in the case of a second or subsequent conviction, a fine not exceeding SGD 20,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or both.

Ministry of Health today said that the emerging tobacco products, currently not available in Singapore, will be banned to ensure that they do not gain a foothold or become entrenched in the Singapore market, which could stimulate demand for and increase the prevalence of tobacco consumption.

The Health Ministry had announced on June 15 that the ban on emerging tobacco products would be implemented in two phases.

The emerging tobacco products that will be banned in this phase include smokeless cigars, smokeless cigarillos or smokeless cigarettes, dissolvable tobacco or nicotine, any product containing nicotine or tobacco that may be used topically for application.

The ban will be effected via the Prohibited Tobacco Products Regulations made under Section 15 of the Tobacco (Control of Advertisements and Sale) Act.

The second phase of the ban, which is on emerging tobacco products existing in the local market, will take effect from August 1, 2016. These products include Nasal snuff, Oral snuff, Gutkha, khaini and zarda.

The ministry said the notice period, starting from June 15 till the date the ban comes into effect, has been given to allow importers and retailers in Singapore to adjust their operating models away from such products, and deplete their existing stocks.