Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan..
July 20, 2010 - Back on June 14, 2010 we indicated that we were waiting for a change in the tobacco legislation to address smokeless alternatives, which would include strips, lozenges, snus and nicotine candies. (Singapore - tobacco dissolvables now infesting this health conscious country..)
Singapore has now tightened the screws on tobacco control measures, in line with WHO standards. This comes as smoking has increased in recent years, particularly among young adults. Between 2004 and 2007, smoking prevalence increased from 18 per cent to 25 per cent among young men, and seven per cent to nine per cent among young women.
It's also to hit at tobacco companies who fight back against control measures with new and alternative products.
Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan introduced changes to the Anti-Smoking Bill passed in Parliament Monday, July 19th. There will now be a full ban on tobacco advertising, and companies will no longer be able to sponsor arts and cultural events. Arts organisations will have until year's end before the change comes into effect.
Health warning labels will be extended to outer packaging, such as the box that holds individual packages for retail. Misleading labels such as "mild" or "light" to imply the product is less harmful will also be prohibited.
Mr Khaw said tobacco manufacturers will be given a grace period of 12 months from the date of gazette to effect the necessary changes.
Speaking in Parliament for the first time since his heart bypass operation in May, he also showed examples of such products - a tin of oral snuff and a packet of smokeless e-cigarettes - to MPs.
The ban on smokeless tobacco products for oral use has also been expanded to cover more categories. Tighter restrictions, including a ban on alternative tobacco and nicotine products currently available abroad. These products include smokeless forms of tobacco such as oral and nasal snuff, electric cigarettes, tobacco substitutes such as nicotine water, and fruit and candy-flavoured cigarettes.
Khaw Boon Wan, Singapore Health Minister, said: "This is a pack of cigarettes, electrical cigarettes. It releases nicotine. It even lights up. And there are health warnings: 'Smoking is harmful for health. E-cigarettes are good for health.' Many of these products closely resemble confectionary items. Clearly the intent is for them to act as starter products that get young non-smokers addicted to nicotine."
Most of these are not available in Singapore, Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan told MPs (members of parliament) on Monday, July 19th during the debate on changes to the Tobacco (Control of Advertisements and Sale) Act.
We are glad that Dr. Khaw is doing well..
References: New ban on tobacco products by Janice Heng (firstname.lastname@example.org), Straits Times.com, 7/19/2010; Singapore tightens tobacco control measures by Joanne Chan, ChannelNewsAsia.com - also VIDEO selection, 7/19/2010.
Singapore - some related news briefs:
Singapore - new stricter tobacco legislation - smoking..;
Singapore - tobacco dissolvables now infesting this health conscious country..;
Singapore - illicit cigarette trade down by 37 percent..;
Singapore - e-cigarettes are illegal..;
Singapore - record number of smuggling attempts for 1st part of 2009..;
Singapore - new measures to discourage smoking among the young..;
Singapore - more people were smoking in 2007 than 2004..;
Singapore - Smoking increase despite public ban, price hike..; Singapore - Introduction of Tobacco Stamp to combat contraband...