In Singapore, the sale of e-cigarettes is forbidden. Nonetheless, the use of e-cigarettes is spreading. In the face of this development, the authorities have made a radical decision: criminalize the use and sale of e-cigarettes.
The scientific authorities would like to ban e-cigarettes altogether. And yet smokers in Singapore are increasingly turning away from tobacco.
Since the sale of e-cigarettes was prohibited, the Internet has become the preferred marketplace for purchasing with impunity. In between April 2014 and March 2017, the Health Science Authority reported more than 15,000 online sale attempts. In between 2011 and 2014, there were only 9,000 attempts. The figures speak for themselves, showing an increase of 70%.
E-cigarettes are becoming more popular, despite increasingly serious consequences
Violators who are caught purchasing, using, or holding e-cigarette products will be subject to a $2000 fine, equivalent to 1250€. Those who attempt to sell or give away e-cigarettes are subject to a maximum fine of $10,000, as well as a prison sentence of up to six months, regardless of whether or not it is a first-time offense.
Regulations will be further tightened. Authorities have proposed that the minimum cigarette smoking age be raised from 18 to 21 years old. Despite all of this, the number of e-cigarette users in Singapore continues to grow, which explains the increase in sales and products.
Why is this? Young people know that e-cigarettes are healthier than tobacco. In addition, being able to purchase e-cigarettes on the web only makes e-cigarettes more attractive. This has also led to e-cigarette fans purchasing products in Malaysia. Singaporeans recognize the dangers of traditional cigarettes, which is why they are increasingly turning to the e-cigarette. It is a shame that in Singapore, a simple puff of an e-cigarette is now considered illegal.
Victoria has been an e-cigarette enthusiast since the first mechanical models. She brings her legal expertise of e-cigarette legislation in France and around the world.