Singapore out on a limb

| January 2, 2018

New laws due to come into force in Singapore shortly will outlaw electronic cigarettes, making it illegal to use such devices even at home, according to a story in The Straits Times.

Some 18-plus e-cigarette users reportedly told the Times they planned to go back to smoking combustible cigarettes.

Currently, the sale, import and distribution of e-cigarettes are against the law, but there is no law against vapers using e-cigarettes in private places.

But a ban passed in November will make it illegal for people to buy, use and own what were described in the report as ‘imitation tobacco products, such as e-cigarettes, e-cigars and e-pipes’.

The ban is expected to come into force within the next few months.

With the total ban, Singapore will be introducing the toughest stance possible against e-cigarettes, at the same time as neighboring countries are moving towards allowing regulated use of such products.

The Times quoted stories from three regional media outlets.

In January 2017, Malaysia tasked three ministries to regulate e-cigarettes, though the Sultan of Johor has vowed to stamp out vaping in the southern state, according to a Malay Mail Online story.

In Indonesia, only businesses that had been certified by the health ministry and whose products met national standards were allowed to import and sell e-cigarettes, The Jakarta Post reported.

And, according to the Bangkok Post, even Thailand was reconsidering its three-year ban on e-cigarettes.

When the ban was passed in Singapore in November, the Parliamentary Secretary for Health Amrin Amin said the measures were meant to “de-normalize” the use of tobacco products over time and deny youth access to cigarettes. The Health Ministry considers e-cigarettes gateway products to cigarette use.

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Category: Breaking News, Harm reduction, Regulation, Vapor

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