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HSA Takes Enforcement Action Against Teenagers Using Electronic Vaporiser on Board a Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) Train

The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) has taken enforcement action against three teenagers, aged 13, 16 and 18 years old, found to have used an electronic vaporiser (e-vaporiser) on an MRT train. HSA was alerted to the video of them using the e-vaporiser in the MRT cabin on 29 March 2020. 

2       Enforcement actions were taken against the teenagers including:  
a. Issuance of conditional warnings requiring the two under-18 offenders to complete a community rehabilitative programme, and to stay crime-free for a period of 12 months; and 
b. Issuance of composition fines of $200 to $500 for other related offences detected under the Tobacco (Control of Advertisements and Sale) Act.

3       HSA takes a very serious view of the possession and use of banned e-vaporisers and related items and will take stern actions against any individuals who contravene the law knowingly.  In this instance, the teenagers had blatantly flouted the law by vaping in plain sight of commuters on the train where smoking is prohibited, and deliberately flaunted their offence on social media. As the two below-18s are first-time offenders, they are required to undergo rehabilitation in the community. If they re-offend during the 12-month period, they can be prosecuted in court.   

4     The teenagers were identified by police officers from the Public Transport Security Command of the Singapore Police Force. Investigations showed that all three of them had taken turns to use the e-vaporiser on board an MRT train along the Circle Line on 25 March 2020. One of them had filmed the video and uploaded it on social media.

5     The purchase, use and possession of e-vaporisers is banned in Singapore. HSA takes a serious view of such blatant infringements of the law.  HSA will continue to work with relevant agencies to deter such activities and to take stern enforcement actions against offenders. 

Penalties for such offences in Singapore 

6       The purchase, possession and use of e-vaporisers are prohibited in Singapore under the Tobacco (Control of Advertisements and Sale) Act. This includes purchases made through the Internet and from overseas.  Offenders can be fined up to $2,000.  From 1 February 2018 to 30 June 2020, 1,335 people have been caught for the use of e-vaporisers.

7       Under the Act, the import, distribution, possession for sale, sale or offer for sale of such products are also prohibited. Offenders can be fined up to $10,000 or jailed up to 6 months or both for the first offence, and fined up to $20,000 or jailed up to 12 months or both for subsequent offences.  
Consumer advisory

8       Information pertaining to prohibited tobacco products in Singapore is available on the HSA website.

9       Members of the public who have information on illegal activities involving e-vaporisers and under-aged smokers can fill in this online form. Alternatively, they can contact the Tobacco Regulation Branch at Tel: 6684 2036 or 6684 2037 during office hours (9:00am to 5:30pm, Monday to Friday). 

HEALTH SCIENCES AUTHORITY
SINGAPORE 
17 JULY 2020

Consumer, Healthcare professional, Industry member, Tobacco control
Published:

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