Banning of Electronic Smoking Devices (E-Cigarette) in Singapore

An overview of e-cigarette designs
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.
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.

Related: Fines For Selling Cigarettes To Youth Under 18 Years Old

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.


Related: Fines For Cigarettes Box Without Health Warning Labels

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.

References

  1. Banned e-smoking devices sold online, The Straits Time, 11 November 2015. Retrieved 2016-02-29
  2. Man catches fire after e-cigarette explodes in his pocket at petrol station, The Guardian, 26 February 2016. Retrieved 2016-02-29.
  3. US health watchdog to take legal action against e-cigarette makerse, The Guardian, 2 September 2015. Retrieved 2016-02-29.

Penalty Fines for Bringing More Than A Packet Of Cigarette Through Singapore Customs

While the cost of cigarettes in Singapore has been soaring over the years, most of the Singaporeans has make use of overseas trip or a trip to Johor Bahru to bring back some non-duty paid cigarettes into Singapore for consumption.

Beware, however, it was an dangerous act as these smokers are not aware of the strict law in Singapore. Trying to bring in more than one packet of cigarettes (which must be an open pack) through the Singapore customs constitute a fine penalty, either you have landed at Singapore’s Changi Airport or returning from the Causeway Link from Malaysia.

Ban Applicable To Singaporean And Foreigners 

In the past, the law passed was not applicable to foreigners who had the privilege to bring in 400 sticks of cigarettes, approximately 20 packets, without getting a fine. This was quite a normal rule among Asian countries. Unfortunately, there has been a recent change, and now even foreigners have to adhere to the same rules as Singaporeans – the allowance of just one open pack of cigarettes.

Related: Fines For Cigarettes Without Health Warning Signs


One of my Japanese friends came over to Singapore last month and he brought 3 packets of cigarettes with him. He failed to declare while going through the customs since he thought the quantity was too small to violate the law. He ended up paying S$400 for the other 2 packets of cigarettes. Be careful of you are bringing in cigarettes. Even you are lucky with the customs, you can still be caught for violating the law if your cigarettes do not have health warnings signs or SDPC markings.

There will be fine of up to $200 per packet of cigarettes or per 20 sticks of cigarettes.

Fines for Cigarettes Box without Mandatory Health Warning Labels in Singapore

In order to pass down messages to smokers that smoking is bad for health, the Singapore government passed down a new law on tobacco sales in July 2004. All cigarette package needs to have health warning labels as shown above (One of the example) if to be Since July 2004, Singapore has implemented a new policy on cigarettes sales.
Photo Source: The Noisy American

FINE: S$ 500

Implementation of this labels also stopped cheaper cigarettes smuggled from neighboring countries like Malaysia and Indonesia, but it did not last long as imitation versions came soon after. Just recently, the Malaysia government has also declared that cigarette package need to have health warning labels as well.

Background of Health Warnings Policy

Singapore started the implementation of the health warnings on cigarette boxes since July 2004. The warnings are required to cover 50% of the front and 50% of the back of all packages. In 2003, a set of six warnings were rotated on cigarette packages and in 2006, a new set of 6 warnings were put in place. A third set of picture warnings for smoke tobacco products have been proposed, and are expected on packs in 2013.

Reference

1. Tobacco Labeling Resource Centre, Singapore. Retrieved 2016-02-28.

This article was updated on 28 February 2016.

Fined in Singapore For Smoking Cigarettes without “SDPC” Markings



In order to tackle the problem of contraband cigarettes entering Singapore, the government passed down a new law for cigarettes that are being sold in Singapore, right after the law pass down for the need for health warning labels on cigarettes package. A new law was passed down on 1st January 2009 that each individual stick of cigarette that are sold in Singapore shall be marked with “SDPC”, in short for Singapore Duty Paid Cigarettes.

Anyone who is caught in possession, buying or selling cigarettes without SDPC mark will be deem as committing an offence under Singapore’s Customs and GST Acts.

FINE: 1st offence S$ 500 per packet, 2nd offence S$ 1,000, 3rd offence S$2,000.