In Singapore, Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) such as electronic cigarettes, e-pipes or e-cigares are banned under the Tobacco Control Act. More generally speaking, this legislation prohibits the importation, distribution, sale or offer for sale of any product that:
- resembles, or is designed to resemble, a tobacco product;
- is capable of being smoked;
- may be used in such a way as to mimic the act of smoking;
- the packaging of which resembles, or is designed to resemble, the packaging commonly associated with tobacco products.
The Singapore authorities take a serious stand against anyone who contravenes the law. Offenders will face a fine up to $10,000 or up to 6 months in prison or both. Repeat offenders could be condemned up to a $20,000-fine or to a 12-month jail time or to both. As an example, three people were fined a total of $28,000 in July 2016 for purchasing and selling vaporisers illegally in Singapore. Their inventory was also seized for a total estimated value of $10,000.
E-cigarette use is also concerned
And this ban does not only concern imports or sales: simple vapers are also targeted. Overseas visitors wishing for example to bring their own vaping devices will be regarded as offenders. Indeed, smoking e-cigarettes that have been purchased overseas is considered illegal. Samuel Seow, a Managing Director of a Law firm based in Singapore indicates that “According to the Ministry of Health, buying e-cigarettes online from overseas suppliers or bringing them into the Singapore in your luggage is considered importing, which is illegal, even if the e-cigarettes are only for personal use.”
Individuals who are in possession of vaporisers may face a fine of $5,000 for the first offence. And a $10,000 fine for each subsequent offence. Plus, anyone caught smoking an e-cigarette in a non-smoking zone will also be fined as though it were a real cigarette.