Total ban on e-cigarettes to come into force soon

Some users say new laws, which make vaping even at home illegal, will see them returning to regular smoking.

New laws kicking in soon will completely outlaw electronic cigarettes, making it illegal to light up the device even at home.

Only the sale, import and distribution of these battery-powered devices are against the law now.

There are also no penalties for users of e-cigarettes to smoke the vapour it produces, known as vaping, such as in private spaces.

But a ban passed in November last year will make it illegal for people to buy, use and own imitation tobacco products, such as e-cigarettes, e-cigars and e-pipes. It is slated to come into force in the next few months.

Some users of the products who are older than 18 – the minimum legal age for smoking – told The Straits Times they plan to go back to regular cigarettes.

Ms Fatima Yusof, 20, a waitress, said of vaping: “I like the flavours and it’s cheaper than cigarettes but it’s too difficult to find the refills.”

 Another user, polytechnic student Ang Zhi Ying, 19, does not mind switching back to conventional cigarettes. “I tried the e-cigarettes but I didn’t like their aftertaste. It’s too dry.”

With the total ban, Singapore will have one of the world’s toughest stances against the controversial products.

Neighbouring countries are moving towards allowing regulated use of such products.

According to the Bangkok Post, Thailand is reconsidering its three-year-old ban on e-cigarettes.

Malaysia has elected three ministries in January last year to regulate the hand-held device that heat flavoured, nicotine-infused liquids to produce a vapour, reported the Malay Mail Online. The Sultan of Johor, however, has vowed to stamp out vaping in the southern state.

In Indonesia, only businesses that have been certified by the health ministry and whose products meet national standards can import and sell e-cigarettes, The Jakarta Post reported.

When the ban was passed in Singapore in November, Parliamentary Secretary for Health Amrin Amin said the measures are to “de-normalise” the use of tobacco products over time and deny youth access to cigarettes.

Read more at straitstimes.com

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