29 June 2020
A proposed layout of a standardised cigarette box. (Photo: Ministry of Health)
SINGAPORE: All tobacco products sold in Singapore must have standardised packaging and enlarged graphic health warnings from Jul 1 as part of the country’s continued tobacco control efforts, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said in a news release on Monday (Jun 29).
Collectively referred to as the SP Measure, the rules apply to all tobacco products, including cigarettes, cigarillos, cigars, beedies, ang hoon and other roll-your-own tobacco products.
Among the requirements are the removal of all logos, colours, images and promotional information on the packaging of tobacco products. Brand and variant names may be displayed but in a standard colour and font style.
The minimum size of the mandatory graphic health warnings will also increase from the existing 50 per cent to 75 per cent. “The SP Measure for tobacco products is part of a multi-pronged approach aimed, among others, at 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,” MOH said.
“Non-compliance with the SP Regulations is an offence punishable with a fine not exceeding S$10,000, imprisonment for a term of up to six months, or both for first offenders. Those with a prior qualifying conviction will face heavier penalties,” it added.
The decision to implement the SP Measure for all tobacco packaging was first announced in October 2018 following an “extensive process” of reviewing the available international and local studies, research and evidence on the SP Measure, as well as several rounds of public consultations. said the ministry.
To prepare for the full implementation of the SP Measure, tobacco manufacturers, importers, wholesalers and retailers were given a 12-month adjustment and preparation period starting from Jul 1, 2019. This included a three-month transition period from Apr 1, 2020 to Jun 30, 2020.