All loopholes for e-cigarette enthusiasts living the #VapeLife in Singapore will be completely closed come Feb 1. Where it was once only illegal to traffic the nicotine vaporizing devices, the commencement of the Tobacco (Control of Advertisements and Sale) Amendment Act that was passed in Parliament last November will ensure even tighter control.
Currently, the Act prohibits the importation, sale, and distribution of emerging and imitation tobacco products — those convicted of selling or distributing products like vapes, chewing tobacco, snuff, or shisha are liable for a maximum fine of S$10,000 or imprisonment for up to 12 months.
But come February 2018, cops can officially arrest and charge you, should you even be caught purchasing, possessing, or using those products, according to a Ministry of Health (MOH) press release. It’s a conviction that could land vapers a maximum fine of S$2,000.
MOH is even encouraging folks to snitch on others — members of the public with information on the importation, distribution, sales, purchase, usage, and possession of vaping devices are advised to report to the Health Sciences Authority via email and their hotline.
The ban affects the vast community of vapers in Singapore, who’ve purchased and utilized their e-cigarette devices discretely despite strict restrictions here. Not that it really matters though. Despite strict restrictions in the past, Singapore’s community of vapers has always existed alongside a global crusade for safer alternatives to traditional cigarettes.
Some Members of Parliament (MPs) also tried to bring up concerns about the government’s explicit prohibition of e-cigarettes last November, as other countries have actually endorsed policies that allow the products for those wanting to break the habit.
On a side note, the Act will also see the minimum smoking age raised to 19 next year, before being subsequently raised to 20 in 2020 and 21 in 2021.