Shisha ban kicks in on Friday: MOH

Nurul Azliah Aripin
·Lifestyle Lead
Shisha: 200 Times More Harmful Than Cigarettes?

The ban on shisha in Singapore will take effect on Friday, 28 November, the Ministry of Health reminded the public on Thursday.

“With effect from 28 November 2014, shisha will be banned in Singapore via the publication of the Prohibited Tobacco Products Regulations made under Section 15 of the Tobacco (Control of Advertisements and Sale) Act,”the ministry said in a press statement.

Anyone contravening the ban will be liable for a fine not exceeding $10,000 or imprisonment of a term not exceeding 6 months, or both. For a second offence, the fine will be up to $20,000 and imprisonment of up to 12 months, or both.

However, existing licensed tobacco importers and retailers who import or sell shisha tobacco will be allowed to continue until 31 July 2016, as a transitional measure, said MOH.

Those who have information on the “import, distribution, sale or offer of sale of shisha tobacco” by unlicensed operators are encouraged to report to the police via a hotline (66842036 or 66842037) during office hours, the ministry added.

Faishal Ibrahim, parliamentary secretary for the health ministry, announced the ban earlier this month, saying it was “in view of the health risks associated with shisha smoking and to prevent the proliferation and entrenchment of shisha smoking in Singapore”.

Responding to queries from Yahoo Singapore, the ministry also earlier said that people in Singapore would not be able to bring in shisha tobacco into the country from overseas for personal consumption once the ban comes into effect. 

Several shisha smokers said they would turn to cigarettes or go overseas to smoke shisha once the ban takes place.