SINGAPORE - A total of 32 sets of electronic vaporisers (e-vaporisers) and 635 electronic liquid cartridges have been seized by the authorities.
E-vaporisers - which include e-cigarettes and e-cigars - are battery-powered devices that heat a liquid (called vape juice) containing nicotine, producing a vapour that is inhaled.
In a joint statement on Thursday (July 11), the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) and the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said that immigration officers at Woodlands Checkpoint detected six sets of e-vaporisers and 223 electronic liquid cartridges hidden in a Singapore-registered car's gear shift compartment on July 5.
The driver, a 27-year-old Singaporean man, was referred to the Central Narcotics Bureau and HSA for investigations. He was suspected to be under the influence of drugs.
The suspect was later found to have hidden another 26 sets of e-vaporisers and 412 electronic liquid cartridges in a SingPost POPStation.
The man is currently assisting CNB and HSA in their investigations.
In the statement, HSA said it takes a serious view of the smuggling and peddling of e-vaporisers and will continue to clamp down on such activities.
The authority has halted the activities of 15 peddlers operating in Singapore following ground operations conducted between April and June this year. The cases are being investigated.
Those found guilty of smuggling and peddling e-vaporisers may be fined up to $10,000, jailed for up to six months, or both.
The use, purchase or possession of e-vaporisers also constitutes an offence, and is punishable with a fine of up to $2,000.
Those with information on the illegal import, distribution or sales of e-vaporisers can contact the Tobacco Regulation Branch on 6684-2036 or 6684-2037 between 9am and 5.30pm on weekdays.
In the statement, the authorities said that the public should not purchase any e-vaporisers, including through the Internet, to be brought into Singapore. The public should also refrain from using e-vaporisers and discard any units in their possession.
Individuals seeking to quit smoking should seek professional medical advice, they added. Advice and support on smoking cessation is available through the toll-free Quitline on 1800-438-2000 or the iQuit club at www.iquitclub.sg
"ICA will continue to conduct security checks on passengers, cargos and vehicles at the checkpoints to prevent attempts to smuggle undesirable persons, drugs, weapons, explosives and other contraband across our borders," the statement said.