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Fourteen Online Peddlers Convicted for Illegal Sale of Electronic Vaporisers, Total Fines Amount to More than $250,000

The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) has prosecuted 14 peddlers for selling electronic vaporisers[1] (e-vaporisers) and related accessories in Singapore. They were convicted in Court between June and August 2020, with the total fines amounting to $255,500.

2        The peddlers were aged between 20 and 43. They had purchased the e-vaporisers and related accessories from overseas suppliers and sold them illegally on various local social media and e-commerce platforms.

3        These cases were detected through HSA’s cyber-surveillance and enforcement activities, which are targeted at deterring the illegal import and sale of e-vaporisers and related accessories in Singapore.  More than $50,000 worth of e-vaporisers and related accessories were seized from the peddlers. 

4        The youngest offender, aged 20, was sentenced to a 15-month supervised probation, while the rest were fined between $5,500 - $47,500 (please refer to Annex A for more details on the probation and fines).  From 2018 to date, HSA has prosecuted 35 persons for selling e-vaporisers and related accessories.  The stiffest penalty meted out so far was $99,000 in 2019 for the illegal sale of e-vaporisers and related accessories. HSA will take strong enforcement actions against those convicted of selling e-vaporisers and related accessories.

Electronic vaporisers are strictly prohibited in Singapore

5        HSA would like to remind the public that it is an offence under the Tobacco (Control of Advertisements and Sale) Act to sell, offer for sale, possess for sale, import or distribute e-vaporisers. 

6        Any person who is convicted is liable to a fine not exceeding $10,000, or to an imprisonment term for up to 6 months or to both for the first offence, and to a fine not exceeding $20,000 or to imprisonment for up to 12 months or to both for the second or subsequent offence.

7        In addition, since 1 February 2018, it is also an offence to possess, purchase or use e-vaporisers and related accessories.  The penalty is a fine not exceeding $2,000.

8         Information pertaining to the prohibition of e-vaporisers in Singapore is available on HSA’s website.

9        The public is strongly advised not to import, purchase, supply and use prohibited tobacco products in Singapore.  Members of the public who have information on the illegal import, distribution, sale or offer for sale of prohibited tobacco products can submit a report conveniently using the online form at go.gov.sg/reporttobaccooffences.  Alternatively, they can contact HSA’s Tobacco Regulation Branch at Tel: 6684 2036 or 6684 2037 during office hours (9:00am to 5:30pm, Monday to Friday).


[1] Electronic vaporisers refer to battery-operated devices which deliver vaporised nicotine for users to inhale. They come in forms such as e-cigarettes, e-pipes, e-cigars and the like.

HEALTH SCIENCES AUTHORITY
SINGAPORE
9 NOVEMBER 2020

Consumer, Tobacco control
Published:

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