The Health Promotion Board has received 171 responses from the public on proposed amendments to the Smoking (Control of Advertisements and Sale of Tobacco) Act. Among them – 131 were from individuals, 12 from the tobacco industry, with the rest comprising healthcare professionals and community organisations. The proposed amendments include banning tobacco sponsorship, lowering the maximum levels on tar and nicotine limits, and banning misleading labelling on cigarettes.
The health minister may also be given more powers to prohibit harmful tobacco products. The majority of respondents supported the changes, with 87 per cent supporting the control of alternative forms of tobacco products. Of these, 54 per cent were in favour of a total ban, while 33 per cent wanted more regulation. Nearly 9 in 10 or 88 per cent of respondents felt that alternative forms of tobacco, especially shisha, are of great public health concern. 92 per cent also felt that the criteria on where cigarettes may be sold should be further reviewed. The public consultation exercise was conducted from August 3-28.