Act against illegal cigarette peddlers

The move to curb smoking among our young is a step in the right direction ("Cigarette displays to be banned from next year"; March 15).

In addition to the ban on the display of tobacco products, there could be a two-pronged approach to tackle the sale of cigarettes.

First, agencies should step up their joint sting operations to flush out illegal peddlers who sell cigarettes openly in some industrial estates and red light districts.

Although it is not always possible to prevent some immigrants from sneaking such contraband products into Singapore to sell, a strong signal must be sent to those who encourage these cigarette peddlers to come here to ply their lucrative trade.

Second, as the contraband cigarettes come via land and sea, tighter enforcement measures should be implemented at our checkpoints and along coastal waters.

At the same time, the authorities should intensify their enforcement on those who smoke illegal cigarettes, meting out harsher penalties on those who buy contraband cigarettes from these peddlers.

Without demand, supply will fizzle out.

Andrew Seow Chwee Guan