Shisha ban to kick in on Friday: Ministry of Health

A customer smokes a shisha or "hookah" pipe at a cafe on Bussorah St on Nov 4, 2014. The importation, distribution and sale of shisha tobacco will be illegal in Singapore as of Friday. -- ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
A customer smokes a shisha or "hookah" pipe at a cafe on Bussorah St on Nov 4, 2014. The importation, distribution and sale of shisha tobacco will be illegal in Singapore as of Friday. -- ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

SINGAPORE - The importation, distribution and sale of shisha tobacco will be illegal in Singapore as of Friday.

The ban, announced in Parliament earlier this month, will however allow existing importers and retailers to sell the product until July 31, 2016.

"This is to allow them ample time to deplete their stock and restructure their businesses away from shisha," the Ministry of Health said on Thursday.

Anyone who contravenes the ban will be liable, on conviction, to a maximum fine of $10,000 or up to 6 months imprisonment, or both. Repeat offenders face a fine of up to $20,000, up to 12 months in jail, or both.

The Ministry of Health urged members of the public who have information on the importation, distribution, sale or offer of shisha tobacco by unlicensed operators to report the matter to the Health Sciences Authority at the following numbers during office hours: 66842036 or 66842037.