Five retailers fined for unlicensed shisha sales

Five retailers have been fined for the unlicensed sale of shisha at their outlets in Kampong Glam, the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) said yesterday.

All were convicted in court and fined $14,200 in total. Cafe Le Caire (International) was given the heftiest fine of $4,000. Four of the outlets had had their tobacco retail licences revoked earlier for tobacco-related offences, but they still continued to sell shisha tobacco and shisha molasses.

The fifth outlet, Nefertiti, which was fined $1,800, had never applied for a tobacco retail licence, but still sold shisha tobacco.

Shisha was banned here in November 2014, but retailers and importers were allowed to sell their remaining stock until July 31 this year.

The five retailers were caught during the grace period. However, it was still illegal for them to sell unlicensed tobacco products.

"These cases were detected through HSA's enforcement activities, which are targeted at deterring the unlicensed sale of tobacco products in Singapore," HSA said in a release yesterday.

The Tobacco Regulations prohibit the import, distribution, sale or offer for sale of shisha molasses and shisha tobacco. Those convicted can be fined up to $10,000, jailed up to six months, or both, for the first offence.

In addition, shisha that has been imported will be confiscated.

No retailer has been caught for selling shisha since the grace period ended on July 31.

In its release, HSA warned that shisha smoking sessions, which can last 15 to 90 minutes, cause the smoker "to be exposed to a higher level of harmful toxicants including carbon monoxide, heavy metals and cancer-causing chemicals".

Rachel Oh

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 17, 2016, with the headline 'Five retailers fined for unlicensed shisha sales'. Print Edition | Subscribe