MOH : Singapore Health Ministry Will Study New Zealand’s Ban On The Sale Of Tobacco Products


Two weeks ago the New Zealand government made an announcement of plans to ban young people from buying cigarettes in their lifetime.

According to online reports, In NZ anyone born after year 2008 will not be able to buy cigarettes or tobacco products in their lifetime, under a law expected to be enacted next year.

“We want to make sure young people never start smoking,” Health Minister Of New Zealand Dr Ayesha Verall said.

Ministry Of Health Singapore :

Responding to a Forum by ST, Ministry Of Health Singapore wrote on their website “We will study the outcomes, effectiveness and operationalisation of New Zealand’s ban”.

Director of Epidemiology and Disease Control, Dr Chow Wai Leng said New Zealand’s upcoming 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.

How is Singapore Handling Smokers.?

According to the response, Ministry of Health adopts a multi-pronged approach to discourage and reduce the use of tobacco products among Singaporeans young and old.

  • We work with schools, parents, businesses and the wider community on a comprehensive strategy which includes public education, smoking cessation programmes, legislation controlling tobacco advertising and sales of cigarettes to minors, and taxation.
  • We have also banned vaping and other emerging tobacco products to curb the gateway effect to smoking, particularly among young people.
  • The Health Promotion Board (HPB) also works closely with the Ministry of Education and institutes of higher learning to encourage young people to stay smoke-free. Young people are educated on the harms of smoking through online interactive learning activities.
  • HPB also provides resources for self-directed learning, and trains educators to discuss the harms of smoking with their students.

All these efforts from MOH have contributed to a decline in smoking among those aged 18 to 29, from 9.8 per cent in 2017 to 8.8 per cent last year.

To further protect the health of Singaporeans, Health ministry said it will continue to review global developments and enhance our existing tobacco control measures.

According to HSA :

Under the Tobacco (Control of Advertisements and Sale) Act, anyone caught selling tobacco products to persons below the MLA is liable, on conviction in Court, to a maximum fine of up to $5,000 for the first offence, and up to $10,000 for the second or subsequent offences.

In addition, the retail outlet’s tobacco retail licence will be suspended for 6 months for the first offence, and revoked for the second offence. However, if any outlet is found selling tobacco products to minors in school uniform, or those below 12 years of age, the tobacco retail licence will be revoked, even at the first offence.

The Minimum Legal Age (MLA) to purchase, use, possess, sell and/or supply tobacco products will be implemented as follows: 19 years old on 1 January 2019, 20 years old on 1 January 2020, 21 years old on 1 January 2021.

From 2015 to September 2020, 110 tobacco retail licences were suspended and 16 were revoked by Health Science Authority Singapore.

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