Bye bye vaping: Buying, using e-cigarettes in S'pore illegal from Feb. 1, 2018

S$10,000 fine, six months jail.

Belmont Lay| January 27, 04:01 PM

When does the new law kick in?

Feb. 1, 2018.

What does the law say?

It will be illegal to buy, use and possess tobacco products such as e-cigarettes, shisha and chewing tobacco.

These are known as emerging and imitation tobacco products.

What are some examples of the prohibited products?

Examples of these products include smokeless tobacco products, chewing tobacco and shisha, as well as vaporisers such as e-cigarettes, e-pipes and e-cigars.

Any device or article that resembles tobacco products is prohibited. (Examples with photos of prohibited tobacco products here.)

How is this new law different from the existing law?

Currently, only importation, sale and distribution of such products are illegal.

Now the law is targeting users.

What are the penalties?

Under the changes, anyone found in possession of, purchasing or using the prohibited products will face a fine of up to S$2,000.

Those caught importing, selling and distributing the products face a fine of up to S$10,000 and up to six months' jail for a first offence.

Repeat offenders face twice those penalties.

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Before Feb. 1, 2018, what can users of such products do?

Discard any prohibited tobacco products that you may have in your possession.

What other changes in the law will take place in the future?

Under the amended act, the Minimum Legal Age (MLA) for tobacco will be raised from 18 to 21 progressively.

The minimum age for the purchase, use, possession, sale and supply of tobacco products will be raised to 19 years old on Jan. 1, 2019.

It will then be raised to 20 on Jan. 1, 2020, and to 21 on Jan. 1, 2021.

When did the change the law begin?

The changes to the Tobacco (Control of Advertisements and Sale) Act came after Members of Parliament in 2017 called for even more stringent measures to lower the smoking rate.