SINGAPORE — The ban on shisha will kick in on Monday (Aug 1) after the end of a grace period.
Licensed tobacco importers and retailers who import or sell shisha tobacco will be prohibited from importing, wholesaling or selling tobacco, the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Health Sciences Authority announced in a joint statement on Thursday (July 28).
Although it was banned since Nov 28, 2014, shisha tobacco importers and retailers were given a grace period until July 31, 2016 to allow them to restructure their businesses and deplete their existing stock.
The ban on shisha tobacco is part of a larger suite of measures to reduce tobacco consumption.
Also coming into force on Monday is the second phase of the ban on on emerging tobacco products available in Singapore, including nasal snuff, oral snuff, gutkha, kaini and zarda.
In June last year, the MOH announced the first phase of the ban on emerging tobacco products not already available in Singapore. The ban was put into effect on Dec 15, 2015, and prohibited products such as smokeless cigars, dissolvable tobacco or nicotine, topically applied tobacco, and any solution with tobacco or nicotine that could be used with e-cigarettes.
All licensed tobacco importers, wholesalers and retailers will therefore be prohibited from importing, wholesaling or retailing all forms of emerging tobacco products.
Anyone who flouts the bans on emerging smoking products and shisha could be jailed up to six months and/or fined up to S$10,000. Those with a prior conviction could be jailed up to 12 months and/or fined up to S$20,000.
As part of the Tobacco (Control of Advertisements and Sale) Act (TCASA), there will also be a ban on the point-of-sale display of tobacco products. This will take effect on Aug 1, 2017 as retailers have a one-year grace period.
The existing ban on advertisements for tobacco products will also be extended to cover advertising for e-cigarettes and similar products. The ban on advertising for tobacco products, e-cigarettes and similar products will include advertisements published electronically. This covers advertisements and sales promotions originating from Singapore and those from outside of Singapore that can be accessed by people in Singapore.
Customer loyalty programmes and promotional schemes involving tobacco products are also not allowed.
Members of the public with information on retailers and importers contravening the ban may call the authorities’ reporting line at 6684-2036 or 6884-2037 during office hours.