- Ministry of Health
In a bid to encourage Singaporeans to adopt a smoke-free lifestyle, the Ministry of Health (MOH) has introduced a new regulation that will affect all tobacco products in the country.
In a statement on Monday (July 1), MOH said that all tobacco products in Singapore will be sold in a standardised packaging, with enlarged graphic health warnings starting July next year.
The changes, known as the SP Measure, will apply to all tobacco products, including cigarettes, cigarillos, cigars, beedies, and roll-your-own tobacco products such as ang hoon.
Under the new regulations, all tobacco product packaging will not be allowed to show any form of logos, colours, images and promotional information.
While brand and variant names are allowed, they will be printed in a standard colour and font style, MOH said.
In addition, the minimum size of mandatory graphic health warnings will be increased to cover 75 per cent of all specified tobacco product packaging surfaces.
Currently, the graphic health warnings are only required to cover 50 per cent of the product surface.
The new regulations will take effect on July 1, 2020, and first offenders who do not comply can be fined up to S$10,000, face up to six months’ imprisonment, or both, MOH said.
Those with a prior qualifying conviction will face heavier penalties should they flout the rules, it added.
A three-month transition period from April 1, 2020 to June 30, 2020 will be provided to “help tobacco manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers to adjust and prepare for the full implementation of the SP Measure from July 1, 2020,” MOH said.
During the transition period, tobacco products that comply with either the current regulations or the SP Regulations will still be allowed to be imported into, distributed, sold, offered for sale or possessed for sale in Singapore.
In a statement, MOH said that the implementation of the SP Measure will “contribute to achieving broader tobacco control aims”.
This includes discouraging non-smokers from picking up smoking, encouraging smokers to quit, and ultimately reducing the prevalence of smoking in Singapore.
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