Tobacco shop figures hit new low

Cigarette packets displayed on a shelf behind the counter in a minimart in Toa Payoh North.
Cigarette packets displayed on a shelf behind the counter in a minimart in Toa Payoh North. PHOTO: ST FILE

The number of places selling cigarettes and tobacco products has fallen to a record low.

Smokers could get their fix from 4,764 retail points last year, figures provided by the Health Sciences Authority showed.

This is the lowest number since 1998, when the Ministry of Health introduced laws that required tobacco sellers to obtain a licence, the authority said.

It is nearly 40 per cent down from the peak in 1999, when people could buy tobacco from more than 7,600 places islandwide.

Industry players and smokers noted that smoking has become an increasingly inconvenient habit in Singapore owing to tougher restrictions.

A point-of-sale display ban, set to take effect later this year, is also expected to affect sales.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 27, 2017, with the headline 'Tobacco shop figures hit new low'. Print Edition | Subscribe