As part of continuing efforts to promote healthy living and discourage tobacco consumption, the Parliament of Singapore passed the Tobacco (Control of Advertisements and Sale) (Amendment) Bill on 11 February 2019.
Under the new regulation, all tobacco products that are imported into or sold in Singapore must comply with the requirements regarding standardized packaging and labelling. Specifically, the regulation imposes a restriction on the display of logos, colors, images or other promotional information on cigarette packs. Brand and product names will be shown in standardized font and color. Pictorial health warning will also be expanded to cover 75% of packaging surface.
In addition, the maximum fine for unlicensed import, distribution, and sale of tobacco products will be increased from $5,000 to $10,000 for a first offence, and from $10,000 to $20,000 for persons who have prior relevant conviction.
Plain packaging is an evidence-based policy. Through packaging with reduced appeal and display of pictorial health warnings, standardized packaging is expected to encourage tobacco cessation among current smokers and to deter non-smokers and young people from starting tobacco use. The adoption of standardized packaging in Singapore is in line with the requirements of WHO FCTC Article 11 and will join other ongoing efforts, such as Tobacco Free Generation, to contribute to the control and prevention of tobacco use in the country.
More information is available from the WHO FCTC focal point for Singapore, Lit Fai Chan, Assistant Director of Policy, Research and Surveillance Division at the Health Promotion Board (e-mail: CHAN_Lit_Fai@hpb.gov.sg).
The Tobacco (Control of Advertisements and Sale) (Amendment) Bill can be found here.
More information is available from the following media clipping:
The Tobacco (Control of Advertisements and Sale) (Appearance, Packaging and Labelling) Regulations 2019 were gazetted on 1 July, 2019, and will come into operation 12 months later, on 1 July, 2020.