Under-21s will be banned from selling cigarettes with amended Act

Shop assistants below 21 years old will be banned from selling cigarettes if amendments to the Tobacco (Control of Advertisement and Sale) Act (TCASA) are passed.

Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs and Health Amrin Amin said that retailers have voiced concerns about the age of cigarette sellers. He was giving an update yesterday on the findings from the public consultation on the proposed amendments to the Act.

Mr Amrin added: "We have taken the views of retailers very seriously and we have done some research as well. The number of under-21 shop assistants is actually not very high and all it means is you have to deploy somebody alongside the young people who are manning counters today."

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the National Steps Challenge community roadshow in Sembawang, Mr Amrin said the proposed initiatives include e-cigarettes.

He said: "Education remains a critical component of the strategy to ensure that people do not pick up smoking and to ensure that e-cigarettes don't come across as cool or people get drawn by research that has not been verified.

"It's important that we set the boundaries and education plays a very important component in this war (against smoking)."

The public consultation on the proposals was held from June 13 to July 10, and the first reading of the proposed amendments to TCASA was tabled in Parliament on Oct 2.

Yesterday, Mr Amrin said: "We are raising the minimum legal age from 18 to 21 and the reason is because we want to keep young people away from smoking.

"Many young people take to smoking at that age - 95 per cent of people had their first puff below 21."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on October 22, 2017, with the headline 'Under-21s will be banned from selling cigarettes with amended Act'. Print Edition | Subscribe