A bill to amend the Tobacco (Control of Advertisements and Sale) Act was tabled in Parliament on Monday (2 October). The changes to the Act would raise the minimum smoking age to 21, up from 18 currently.
In addition to raising the legal smoking age, it would make it illegal to own imitation tobacco products such as e-cigarettes.
The bill was tabled by Minister for Health Gan Kim Yong. The plans for these legislative changes were revealed back in March 2017 during the Committee of Supply debates in Parliament.
The Ministry of Health said that raising the minimum legal age is intended to reduce opportunities for young people to take up smoking, with a view to removing such opportunities completely.
According to media reports, smokers are starting their habits earlier, with many experiencing their first puff at the age of 16 on average in 2013. In 2001 that average age was 17.
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