Anyone possessing e-cigarettes, nicotine patches as well as any solutions with nicotine meant to be used for vaping will face the full wrath of the law in a blanket ban that’s kicking in today.
“This is part of the Ministry of Health (MOH)’s ongoing efforts to protect the public against the known and potential harms of emerging tobacco products,” wrote the ministry in a press release yesterday. The first phase of their ban sees emerging tobacco products such as smokeless cigars/cigarillos/cigarettes, dissolvable tobacco/nicotines, vaporisers, e-cigarette liquids completely prohibited in Singapore.
The ban affects the vast community of vapers in Singapore, who’ve purchased and utilised their e-cigarette devices discretely despite strict restrictions here. Previously, the prohibition enforced by the Health Sciences Authority only prevented the import, distribution, sale or offer for sale of vaping devices and paraphernalia — but it’s technically not illegal to possess it.
With the new laws, any person found with e-cigarettes (or any product mentioned above) are liable to a fine of up to $10,000 and/or a maximum jail term of six months. Subsequent convictions will double the initial penalties.
Not that it really matters. Despite strict restrictions in the past, Singapore’s community of vapers have always existed, and sources say that it might be growing even bigger.
Singapore now joins a slowly expanding legion of anti-vaping countries despite proponents in Europe — especially the UK — fighting for e-cigarettes to be the safer alternatives to traditional cigarettes.
The second phase of the ban will kick in from August next year, outlawing snuffs and chewing tobaccos.