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15 Jan 2021

5th Dec 2020

We thank Mr Richard Wong for his letter (Reconsider ban on 'heat-not-burn' cigarettes, Dec 2).

The importation, sale, distribution, purchase, use and possession of heated tobacco products (HTPs), also known as "heat-not-burn" tobacco products, are currently prohibited in Singapore.

All forms of tobacco products are harmful to health, including HTPs. According to the World Health Organisation, HTPs contain chemicals not found in cigarettes which may have negative health effects on users. Some emissions from HTPs are toxic and can cause cancer, even if those around HTP users do not smell them.

As these are relatively new products, data on the long-term health effects from using them is still emerging.

There is also a lack of good evidence and global consensus that HTPs are effective for smoking cessation.

The Ministry of Health will continue to monitor the scientific developments and global consensus surrounding these alternative products as they emerge.

Those who wish to quit smoking can seek help by calling the national toll-free QuitLine on 1800-438-2000. They can receive customised smoking cessation counselling from certified Quit consultants.

Chow Wai Leng (Dr)
Director, Epidemiology and Disease Control
Ministry of Health