Singapore ban on display of tobacco products to start in 2017

The authorities will seek public views  on raising the minimum legal age for buying and using tobacco from 18 to 21.
The authorities will seek public views on raising the minimum legal age for buying and using tobacco from 18 to 21.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Retailers will no longer be allowed to display tobacco products in shops from 2017, said the Ministry of Health on Wednesday (Dec 9).

The point of sale display ban will be implemented after a one-year grace period for retailers to comply with regulations after changes have been made to the Tobacco (Control of Advertisements and Sale) Act.

This is to protect non-smokers, especially young people, from picking up the habit due to exposure to point of sale displays in shops. This would also discourage impulse buying among non-smokers and smokers attempting to kick the habit, Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State for Health, told reporters on Wednesday.

Retailers will be allowed to provide a text-only price list in standard format to facilitate sales. Tobacco products should be kept out of sight at all times except during sales transactions and re-stocking.

They have to be kept in plain storage units that are self-closing and opaque, or under the counter or in a separate room.

Fifty tobacco retailers attended an engagement session at the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Wednesday, where they were able to raise concerns about the implementation of the ban. A total of 14 dialogues related to the point of sale display ban have been held since 2013.