SINGAPORE, Dec. 31 (Xinhua) -- Singapore's Ministry of Health has issued a reminder saying that the minimum legal age for the purchase, use, possession, sale and supply of tobacco products will be raised from 18 to 19 years old on Jan. 1, 2019, the Straits Times reported on Monday.
The move is a part of Singaporean government's plan to progressively raise the minimum legal age for smoking, which will go up to 20 years old on Jan. 1, 2020, and to 21 years old on Jan. 1, 2021.
The ministry said retailers who contravene the law and sell any tobacco products to a person below the minimum legal age shall be liable upon conviction to a maximum fine of 5,000 Singapore dollars (about 3,660 U.S. dollars) for the first offence and 10,000 Singapore dollars for subsequent offences.
In addition, the tobacco retail license will be suspended for the first offence and revoked for subsequent offences.
Besides retailers, persons who supply any tobacco products to a person below the age are also committing an offence, and underage smokers who are caught for using, buying or having in their possession tobacco products are to be fined up to 300 Singapore dollars, the ministry added.
The ministry said it remains committed to lowering smoking prevalence in Singapore through a comprehensive, multipronged approach to discourage and reduce the use of tobacco products, including public education on the harms of tobacco use, efforts to encourage tobacco-free living, legislative restrictions on tobacco advertising and promotion, and fiscal policies such as tobacco taxation.