|There are a great variety of electronic smoking devices in the market. The Online Citizen|
The electronic smoking devices, also known as e-cigarette has started a new trend among teenagers in Singapore, gaining it’s popularity of its ease to access and without the need to undergo checks for legal age requirements.
|Illustration on how an e-cigarette works. E-cigs For Beginners|
These e-cigarettes or vaporisers an e-liquids can be purchased from online marketplace like Carousell, Gumtree and Qoo10, as well as social media like Instagram and Singapore-based online forums.
On Carousell, there are as much as 30 such posts selling e-liquids under vague search terms like”juice”. E-liquid refills are sold for about $13 Singapore dollars for a 10ml bottle and $25 Singapore dollars for a 30ml bottle. It comes with different flavours such as bandung, root beer float and caramel macchiato which maybe laced with nicotine.
E-cigarette Banned in Singapore
Singapore government has banned the use or importation of these electronic cigarettes, cigars and pipes. While according to the Health Sciences Authority (HSA), there were more than 15,000 cases involving people bringing vaporisers into Singapore illegally between 2012 and September 2015. In the same period, 39 peddlers were caught for selling vaporisers in Singapore.HSA said the vaporisers were found in parcels, most purchased online and on people caught hand carrying into Singapore.
What is the Fines / Penalties ?
The Tobacco (Control of Advertisements and Sale) Act in Singapore prohibits the importation, distribution, sale or offer for sales of any item designed to resemble a tobacco product, including vaporisers. Thus, buying these vaporisers or e-cigarettes from overseas websites or hand carrying in hand luggage is also considered as importing.
Offenders may be fined up to S$5,000 for the first offence and up to S$10,000 for subsequent offences.
Vaporisers May Cause Health Hazards
Though the invention of the vaporisers were to aid smokers from getting a puff out of a cigarette, but there are concerns raised on the reliability and usability of these electronic devices.
Dr Wong Seng Weng, medical director of The Cancer Centre, said these e-cigarettes users are exposed to nicotine, which is addictive, as well as heated and aerosolised propylene glycol and glycerol, which may turn into carcinogens. Carcinogen is a substance that has cancer-causing agents and toxicants, in same cases, as much as those in conventional cigarettes.
In addition, there are also cases that e-cigarette explodes and caused bodily injury to the users. You may want to check out the man in Kentucky, US that suffered second-degree burns after his faulty e-cigarette set his trousers on fire.
After all, there are still no in-depth studies that e-cigarette could be as smoking-cessation aids and the industry safety standards for manufacturing such devices are not being laid out and widely accepted by countries.
Quitting Smoking Once and For All ?
If you are looking at some help for quit smoking, you may join the iQuit Club in Singapore.
- Banned e-smoking devices sold online, The Straits Time, 11 November 2015. Retrieved 2016-02-29
- Man catches fire after e-cigarette explodes in his pocket at petrol station, The Guardian, 26 February 2016. Retrieved 2016-02-29.
- US health watchdog to take legal action against e-cigarette makerse, The Guardian, 2 September 2015. Retrieved 2016-02-29.