SINGAPORE CONSIDERS TO RAISE MINIMUM AGE FOR PURCHASING TOBACCO PRODUCTS FROM 18 TO 21

SINGAPORE — The Singapore authorities are considering raising the minimum legal age for purchasing tobacco products from 18 to 21 years old as part of the move to discourage Singaporeans from smoking.

According to a media release from the Health Promotion Board (HPB), the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) on Tuesday, the authorities will hold a public consultation on new measures to discourage Singaporeans from picking up the habit of smoking.

One of them is to raise the minimum age for smoking from the current 18 years old to 21. Others include restricting the sale of flavoured tobacco products, introducing standardised tobacco packaging to reduce the appeal of tobacco products as well as enhancing graphic health warnings, according to the press release.

Singapore has been working hard to lower its smoking rate in recent years. Earlier in December, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said that the ministry will move to ban stores from displaying tobacco products in 2017. Two weeks ago, MOH also banned emerging tobacco products such as smokeless cigars, smokeless cigarillos or smokeless cigarettes in Singapore.

According to HPB, as of 2013, Singapore’s smoking rate stands at 13.3 percent, and the nation aims to reduce it further to 12 percent by 2020. PNA/Xinhua/northboundasia.com