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12 May 2021

11th May 2021

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament
Miss Cheng Li Hui
MP for Tampines GRC

Question No. 946 

To ask the Minister for Health (a) whether the Ministry is monitoring the trend of vaping in Singapore since the pandemic; (b) how is the Ministry working with popular e-commerce platforms to mitigate the sale and import of vaping devices; and (c) what measures are being taken to increase awareness about the dangers of vaping especially among teens.

Answer

1 The Ministry of Health and the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) had observed an increase in the number of seized electronic vaporisers (e-vaporisers) in 2019 compared to the previous two years.  This upward trend continued in 2020. Similarly, the number of cases involving the sales of e-vaporisers or individuals caught for possession of these products has seen an increase over the same period. 

2 HSA works closely with the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) to interdict e-vaporisers and related items smuggled through the checkpoints and parcels coming in via online orders.  In addition, as part of enforcement efforts to prevent the illegal online sales of these products, HSA carries out active online surveillance and takes enforcement actions against those who buy or sell such products online.  To complement our enforcement operations, HSA has also collaborated with online purchasing platforms including Instagram, Carousell, Facebook and related e-commerce sites to remove postings on the illegal sale of such products. In 2020, more than 2,000 postings were removed.

3 The Health Promotion Board (HPB) works closely with the Ministry of Education and Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) to raise awareness among youths about the benefits of leading a tobacco-free lifestyle and encourage them to stay vape-free.  This involves organising online learning activities on the harms of vaping, through gamification methods (e.g. virtual escape rooms) to educate the youths.  HPB also provides resources for self-directed learning, and trains educators so that they are equipped to discuss the harms of vaping with their students.  Information on the negative effects of vaping is also available on HealthHub.

4 My Ministry would like to remind the public that the importation, sale, distribution, purchase, use and possession of e-vaporisers and its accessories are prohibited under the Tobacco (Control of Advertisements and Sale) Act. We will continue to work with our partner agencies to control access to, as well as educate the public on the negative health effects of these emerging products.