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.