20-year-old among 14 charged with selling e-vaporisers online

From June to August this year, 14 people were charged with selling electronic vaporisers (e-vaporisers) and related items in Singapore. More than $50,000 worth of goods were seized from them, and they were fined a combined total of $255,500.

All 14 cases were unrelated.

The youngest offender, aged 20, was sentenced to 15-month supervised probation, while the rest were fined between $5,500 and $47,500.

The offenders, aged between 20 and 43, bought e-vaporisers and related accessories from suppliers overseas and sold them illegally on social media and e-commerce platforms, said the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) in a statement yesterday.

E-vaporisers, which include e-cigarettes and e-cigars, are battery-powered devices that heat a liquid containing nicotine to produce a vapour which is then inhaled.

HSA said the offenders were caught as part of its cyber surveillance and enforcement activities against the illegal import and sale of e-vaporisers and related accessories in Singapore.

Since 2018, HSA has prosecuted 35 people for selling e-vaporisers and related accessories. The heaviest penalty so far was a fine of $99,000 last year handed to a man for operating an online business advertising and selling e-vaporisers.

It is an offence under the Tobacco Act to sell, offer for sale, possess for sale, import or distribute e-vaporisers. Offenders face a fine of up to $10,000, up to six months' jail, or both for the first offence.

Repeat offenders can be fined up to $20,000, jailed for up to 12 months, or both.

It is also an offence to possess, purchase or use e-vaporisers and related accessories. The penalty is a fine of up to $2,000.

Electronic vaporisers and accessories seized as part of the Health Sciences Authority's enforcement activities against the illegal import and sale of such items in Singapore.
Electronic vaporisers and accessories seized as part of the Health Sciences Authority's enforcement activities against the illegal import and sale of such items in Singapore. PHOTO: HEALTH SCIENCES AUTHORITY

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 10, 2020, with the headline '20-year-old among 14 charged with selling e-vaporisers online'. Subscribe