A report published by The Straits Times shows that Singapore’s Cigarette manufacturers operating are required to sell their products with standardized packaging starting from July 1.
For smokers, Singapore is known for its stringent rules and regulations on both cigarettes and vaping products. In the public places in Singapore, there are posters displayed by the government to warn smokers what to do and what is not allowed to do.
Smoking is absolutely forbidden in government offices, public buildings, MRT stations, workplaces, shopping centers, air-conditioned restaurants, public transports, elevators, and theatres. And smoking is also banned in many public spaces like indoor fast-food outlets, bowling alleys, bars.
If you are a first-time offender, you will ask for a fine of up to $1,000 and S$2,000 for repeat offenders. These rules apply to both residents and visitors.
According to the Ministry of Health (MOH) in Singapore, the Plain Packaging Law as a new rule, asks tobacco producers to follow a standardized packaging, and enlarge the image of health warnings. This law will apply to all tobacco products, including cigarettes, cigarillos, cigars, bidis, even for roll-your-own tobacco products.
This law was announced on Oct 31, 2018, to support the Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR), and encouraging smokers to quit. Also, as a measure to discourage nonsmokers from trying smoking.
Some tobacco companies may need to remove all logos, colors, images, and promotional information on their product packaging because of the new rule.
And based on the law, the image of health warnings must cover at least 75 % of product packing, which currently is 50%.
For first-time offenders, the punishment will be a fine of up to SGD10,000 ($7,171), and jail of up to six months, or both.
Besides, people who have a prior qualifying conviction will be charged with heavier penalties.
Tobacco manufacturers, importers, wholesalers, and retailers in Singapore are given a year to prepare for this new law, illustrated by the government.
Moreover, the Health Sciences Authority also reminds tobacco licensees of the new packaging regulations via letters and e-mails.
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