Did You Know? : Smoking Prevalence In SG Population Dropped From 13.9% To 10.1% In 10 Years


By now most of us are aware about the smoking rules in Singapore & about 6 month back the New Zealand government made an announcement of plans to ban young people from buying cigarettes in their lifetime.

When New Zealand announced their plans to the world about smoking ban, responding to a Forum by ST, Ministry Of Health Singapore spokes person had earlier said that “We will study the outcomes, effectiveness and operationalisation of New Zealand’s ban”.

Director of Epidemiology and Disease Control, Dr Chow Wai Leng had also said that New Zealand’s ban on the sale of tobacco products to those born after a particular year will be the first time a country has introduced such a ban at the national level. We will study the outcomes, effectiveness and operationalisation of New Zealand’s ban.


Responding to a Forum by ST where Forum writer Candice Yeo Chay Hoon said “Now is the best time to launch a tobacco-free generation”.

The Director, Epidemiology and Disease Control said that “Tobacco control is a vital element in the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) preventive health strategy. We have adopted a multi-year, multi-pronged approach to reduce and discourage the use of tobacco products among Singaporeans”.

We work with many partners to deliver public education to increase awareness of the harms of tobacco use, smoking cessation programmes, legislative measures, taxation and enforcement.

These efforts have contributed to a steady decline in smoking prevalence in the Singapore population over the years, from 13.9 per cent in 2010 to 11.8 per cent in 2017 and 10.1 per cent in 2020, the director added.

We employ specific measures to reduce the use of tobacco products in young people. For example, we raised the minimum legal age for smoking to 21. We have also banned vaping and other emerging tobacco products, which can be gateways to smoking.

We work with the Health Promotion Board (HPB) and the Ministry of Education to educate students on the harms of using tobacco and nicotine products. HPB runs programmes to support underage smokers or vapers to quit, working through schools’ student health advisers.

We continually review international developments in tobacco control.

New Zealand, Malaysia and Denmark recently announced plans to implement tobacco-free generation policies. MOH will examine how these countries develop and enforce the bans, to determine if this can be similarly applied in Singapore, the director said in a response.


Smoking is not allowed in most indoor locations in Singapore. However, certain premises have designated areas for smoking. Smokers are liable to a composition sum of $200 if caught smoking in prohibited places, or up to $1,000 if convicted in court.

Image : Singapore Police Force

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