Individuals not allowed to bring in shisha tobacco for personal consumption: MOH

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

[UPDATE 5 November 2014, 12:18pm: Added clarification from Ministry of Health on shisha ban]

The shisha ban that is about to take place in Singapore late November will not only affect existing licensed tobacco importers and retailers directly, but individual consumers as well.

The Ministry of Health clarified with Yahoo Singapore on Wednesday that people in Singapore will not be able to bring in shisha tobacco into the country from overseas for personal consumption, once the shisha ban comes into effect. 

A day earlier, Parliamentary Secretary for Ministry of Health Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim said in Parliament that the ministry would ban the importation, distribution and sale of shisha from later this month to prevent the “proliferation and entrenchment of shisha smoking in Singapore."

Faishal said that, as a transitional measure, existing licensed tobacco importers and retailers who import or sell shisha tobacco would be allowed to import and retail shisha tobacco until the end of July in 2016.

Shisha has become a trendy pursuit among Singapore youths hanging out in Middle Eastern-themed cafes near Arab Street. However, health experts have warned that a single session of smoking shisha is the same as smoking 200 cigarettes.