Smokers beware! Jail and fine await you if you're caught with tobacco!
The government has been cracking down on smoking. Tobacco products bar cigarettes have long been a widely discussed topic on its legality in Singapore.
Those who own smokeless tobacco products, chewing tobacco and shisha now, however, the due date to tossing them is imminent - 1 Feb 2018.
Yes, that is happening in a few days' time.
On that date, the line will be drawn - it will then be illegal to buy, use and possess emerging and imitation tobacco products in Singapore, under the Tobacco (Control of Advertisements and Sale) Act. This means those products will be banned in Singapore in their entirety.
At the present, only import, distribution and sale of the products are illegal. Devices and articles that resemble tobacco products are also prohibited, such as electronic cigarettes, electronic pipes and electronic cigars.
Those found guilty of buying, using and possessing such products can be jailed for up to six months, fined up to $10,000 or both.
Repeat offenders will face twice the punishment.
The Act, which passed in November 2017, also stated that the minimum legal age for purchase, possession, sale and supply of tobacco products will be slowly increased from 18 to 21 in phases.
The minimum age will be increased from 18 to 19 in 2019, then to 20 and 21 in 2020 and 2021.
The Ministry of Health says it plans to lower the prominence of smoking in Singapore through through a comprehensive, multi-pronged approach to discourage and reduce the use of tobacco products.
The aim of these campaigns, of course, is to get as many people to quit smoking as possible. By making tobacco so inaccessible and having so many restrictions, many smokers might be more encouraged to quit.
What do you think? Would you give quitting a try?
For advice and support to quit smoking, call the toll-free Quit-line at 1800-438-2000.
(Image Credit: Ministry of Health)
Health MOH Singapore Illegal Policy
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