SINGAPORE - Two men and a woman were fined a total of $28,500 for selling vaporisers such as electronic cigarettes, said the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) on Wednesday (July 13).
The three peddlers were convicted between May and July this year.
Charles Ng Teng Pei, 27, was fined $7,500, Koh Wei Hong, 29, was fined $16,500, and Teo Yi Lin, 23, was fined $4,500.
They purchased the vaporisers from overseas suppliers and sold them illegally on social media and e-commerce platforms in Singapore.
Investigations revealed that they had sold vaporisers to 23 buyers, HSA said.
Koh also admitted selling the products to two 16-year-old students.
About $10,000 worth of vaporisers were seized from the peddlers' homes.
Since 2011, HSA has prosecuted 13 people for selling vaporisers, and the stiffest penalty meted out so far was $64,500.
The import, distribution, sale or offer for sale of anything that is designed to resemble a tobacco product is illegal, HSA said.
This includes vaporisers such as e-cigarettes, e-pipes, e-cigars and similar products.
Any person who is convicted of selling them can be fined up to $5,000 for the first offence and up to $10,000 for the second or subsequent offences.
Any vaporisers imported will be seized and confiscated.
HSA reminded members of the public not to buy or bring vaporisers into Singapore.
Despite claims by manufacturers, there is no conclusive scientific evidence to demonstrate the effectiveness of vaporisers in helping smokers quit tobacco use, the agency said.
The Ministry of Health, Health Promotion Board and HSA are concerned that e-cigarettes could potentially be a gateway to developing a smoking habit, particularly among the young.