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Over 2,200 individuals nabbed for e-vaporiser offences in Q1 2024, MOH and HSA report

Singapore intensifies crackdown on e-vaporiser offences, with over 2,200 individuals apprehended in Jan-Mar 2024. This follows a 60% surge in similar offenses in 2023. Tougher penalties, including fines up to S$2,000, imposed to deter youth vaping.



Over 2,200 individuals nabbed for e-vaporiser offences in Q1 2024

SINGAPORE: More than 2,200 individuals have been apprehended for possession or use of e-vaporiser from January to March 2024, as announced by the Ministry of Health (MOH) and Health Sciences Authority (HSA) in a joint press release on Tuesday (9 April).

These individuals were caught through various means, including heightened border controls and increased patrols in public areas such as the central business district, entertainment venues, shopping centres, and instances reported by educational institutions.

Vaping offences surge by 60% in Singapore in 2023

In the preceding year, 7,838 individuals were apprehended for similar offences, marking a significant 60% increase from the previous year’s tally of 4,916 cases in 2022.

During the initial three months of 2024, approximately 1,950 individuals were intercepted for possession or use of e-vaporisers during intensified patrols in public areas.

Additionally, there were convictions in court between October 2023 and March 2024, with 34 individuals facing penalties, including fines totalling around $340,000 and one individual receiving a 10-month jail sentence—a record for e-vaporiser-related offences in Singapore.

In 2023, there was also a notable surge in e-vaporiser-related online listings, with over 3,000 removed compared to 2,600 in the previous year.

The disruption of illegal e-vaporiser distribution networks was also notable in the first quarter of 2024, with the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) successfully dismantling several operations and seizing over $7 million worth of e-vaporisers and components.

Collaboration with the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) led to the detection of 40 e-vaporiser-related cases at borders, resulting in prosecutions and pending enforcement actions against individuals attempting to smuggle or possess such products.

New fines of up to S$2,000 imposed for youth vaping offences

To enhance deterrence among youths against vaping, beginning in March 2024, all offenders, including first-time offenders in schools and Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs), caught for purchasing, using, or possessing e-vaporisers are referred to the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) and subjected to fines of up to $2,000.

During the period from 1 January to 31 March 2024, schools and IHLs referred approximately 250 cases to HSA.

IHLs have undertaken reviews of sanctions, which may include corrective work orders, mandatory community service, and the revocation of hostel privileges for repeat student offenders from Autonomous Universities found in possession of or selling e-vaporisers.

Both schools and IHLs will sustain their efforts in detection and enforcement through internal reporting channels and campus patrols.

Students caught vaping will face penalties imposed by HSA, as well as consequences through existing disciplinary frameworks, such as suspension or caning for boys in schools, and enrollment in cessation support programs.

Vape-free campaign and public education initiatives

In tandem with enforcement, schools and IHLs are collaborating with the Health Promotion Board (HPB) to amplify anti-vaping messages through educational materials, preventive programs, and cessation support services for students caught vaping.

These initiatives include QuitLine, a tele-counselling service, and on-site counselling by Student Health Advisors.

Approximately 2,350 youths received smoking and vaping cessation counselling from these programs, with 38% reporting either reduced or quit smoking and/or vaping after one month of counselling in 2023.

At the broader level, HPB’s vape-free campaign, launched in 2023, aims to raise awareness of the harms and illegality of vaping through various channels, including partnerships with the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) for messages at checkpoints and integration of educational materials for parents into the Parent Hub portal.

HPB will continue its public education efforts in collaboration with various agencies.

Penalties for e-vaporiser offences

Penalties for e-vaporiser-related offences in Singapore, as stipulated under the Tobacco (Control of Advertisements and Sale) Act, include fines of up to $2,000 for possession, use, or purchase offences.

Importing, distributing, selling, or offering e-vaporisers and their components is also prohibited, with penalties escalating for subsequent offences.

Concurrently, MOH will review penalties under the Act to ensure continued deterrence against such offences.

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Probably these vape users will get a longer jail term than the Fujian Fugitives.

Just wish all our Muslim friends here in TOC, Happy Adil Fitri holidays

Are these figures from liars. Really. How to believe ownself check ownself, and ownself praise ownself fellas.