Public consultation on proposed amendments to Tobacco Act

A public consultation will be held to gather views on proposed amendments to the Tobacco (Control Advertisements and Sale) Act. Among the proposed amendments are banning point-of-sale displays of tobacco products, which means retailers must keep toba
A public consultation will be held to gather views on proposed amendments to the Tobacco (Control Advertisements and Sale) Act. Among the proposed amendments are banning point-of-sale displays of tobacco products, which means retailers must keep tobacco products out of direct line of sight. ST FILE PHOTO

SINGAPORE - A public consultation will be held to gather views on proposed amendments to the Tobacco (Control Advertisements and Sale) Act, as Singapore continues to strengthen its tobacco control measures.

The Ministry of Health (MOH), Health Promotion Board and Health Sciences Authority will hold the online consultation from June 25 to July 24, said MOH in a statement on Thursday.

The proposed amendments include banning point-of-sale displays of tobacco products. Under this ban, tobacco retailers have to keep tobacco products out of direct line of sight of patrons in opaque storage units in their stores.

This aims to reduce the exposure of non-smokers to advertising effects of such displays, said MOH. "It also aims to reduce the likelihood of tobacco products purchased on impulse and thereby help smokers who are trying to quit," it added.

The Act will also be amended to allow retailers to show text-only price lists of tobacco products, which are currently prohibited as a form of advertisement, upon request. MOH said this would reduce other customers' exposure to the tobacco products.

The amended Act will also allow the Government to standardise and prescribe specifications for how "No Sale to Minors" signs used by retailers should look.

The Tobacco (Control Advertisements and Sale) Act prohibits advertisements, promotions and sponsorships of tobacco products and their use, controls the use of tobacco products by young persons, and regulates the sale, packaging and trade description of tobacco products.

MOH had previously sought feedback on these measures through a public consultation in June 2013, and engagement sessions with tobacco retailers were also conducted in November 2014.

Members of the public can submit their feedback by 5pm on July 24 at www.moh.gov.sg/tcasa2015

yeosamjo@sph.com.sg