First phase of ban on alternative tobacco products to take effect from Dec 15

Several types of illegal e-cigarette products.
Several types of illegal e-cigarette products.PHOTO: HEALTH SCIENCES AUTHORITY

SINGAPORE - Emerging tobacco products currently not available in Singapore will be banned with effect from Tuesday (Dec 15).

The ban ensures "they do not gain a foothold or become entrenched in the Singapore market", the Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Monday (Dec 14).

The products could stimulate demand for tobacco consumption, MOH said.

MOH had announced on June 15 that the ban on emerging tobacco products would be implemented in two phases.

The emerging tobacco products that will be banned from Tuesday include:

* Smokeless cigars, smokeless cigarillos or smokeless cigarettes;

* Dissolvable tobacco or nicotine;

* Any product containing nicotine or tobacco that may be applied topically, implanted or injected into any parts of the body;

* Any solution or substance, containing tobacco or nicotine, that is intended to be used with e-cigarettes.

First offenders who contravene the ban may be fined up to $10,000 or imprisoned for not more than six months, or both. The maximum penalties will be doubled for a second or subsequent conviction.

The second phase of the ban, which is on emerging tobacco products already in the local market, will take effect from Aug 1, 2016.

These products include:

* Nasal snuff

* Oral snuff

* Gutkha, which is a mix of tobacco, betel nut and catechu (herb) with lime, menthol, sandal oil, spice and flavourings

* Khaini and zarda, which are flavoured chewing tobaccos.

Members of the public who have information on the import, distribution, sale or offer for sale of the products may call MOH's reporting line at 66842036 or 66842037 during office hours.