SINGAPORE — Tobacco products sold in Singapore must have standardised packaging and enlarged graphic health warnings from 1 July next year, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Monday (1 July).
The changes, collectively known as the SP Measure, will mean that logos, colours, images and promotional information associated with the tobacco brand cannot be displayed on the packaging of its products. Brand and variant names are allowed in a standard colour and font style.
The minimum size of the mandatory graphic health warnings depicting the effects of smoking will also be increased to 75 per cent of the product packaging surface, up from 50 per cent.
The SP Measure will apply to all tobacco products, including cigarettes, cigarillos, cigars, beedies, ang hoon and other roll-your-own tobacco products.
The SP Regulations - or Tobacco (Control of Advertisements and Sale) (Appearance, Packaging and Labelling) Regulations 2019 - were gazetted on Monday and will come into operation 12 months later, on 1 July next year.
First-time offenders who do not comply with the regulations may face a maximum fine of $10,000 or a jail term of up to six months, or both. Those with a prior qualifying conviction will face heavier penalties.
For a three-month transition period from 1 April to 30 June next year, tobacco products that comply with either the current Tobacco (Control of Advertisements and Sale) (Labelling) Regulations 2012 or the SP Regulations can be imported into, distributed, or sold in Singapore.
This will help tobacco manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers to adjust and prepare for the full implementation of the SP Measure, said the ministry.
“The SP Measure for tobacco products will, in conjunction with other tobacco control measures, contribute to achieving broader tobacco control aims such as discouraging non-smokers from picking up smoking, encouraging smokers to quit, and encouraging Singaporeans to adopt a tobacco-free lifestyle, which will ultimately lead to reduced smoking prevalence,” it added.
The MOH announced the decision to implement the changes for all tobacco packaging on 31 October last year, following extensive reviewing and evaluating international and local studies, research and evidence on the SP Measure, as well as several rounds of public consultations.
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