Now, laws will take effect soon in Singapore and completely ban e-cigarettes, making it illegal to use the device even at home.
Currently, it is illegal to sell, import and distribute these battery-powered devices. But there are no penalties for vapers vaping in private spaces. However, a ban passed in November last year will make it illegal to buy, use and own e-cigarettes, e-cigars and e-pipes. The ban will take effect in the coming months.
Some e-cigarette users older than 18—the minimum age for smoking—tell The Straits Times that they plan to return to regular cigarettes. “I like the taste. It’s cheaper than cigarettes, but it is hard to find the refills,” Fatima Yusof, a 20-year-old waitress, said. Another user, Ang Zhi Ying, a 19-year-old polytechnic student, doesn’t mind switching back to traditional cigarettes. “I tried e-cigarettes, but I didn’t like the aftertaste. Too dry.” With the blanket ban, Singapore will be one of the countries having the world’s toughest stances against the e-cigarettes.
Peripheral countries are moving in the direction of allowing regulated use of such products. Thailand is reconsidering a 3-year-old ban on e-cigarette, the Bangkok Post reported. Malay Mail Online reported that Malaysia elected three ministries in January last year to regulate the e-cigarettes. However, the Sultan of Johor, has vowed to get rid of e-cigs in the southern state.
According to the Jakarta Post, in Indonesia, only companies that are certified by the ministry of health can import and sell e-cigarettes. When the ban was passed last November in Singapore, the Parliamentary Secretary for Health said these measures are to “eliminate” the use of tobacco products so that the young will not have access to cigarettes
The Health Ministry believes that these products will make users addicted to nicotine, leading to the use of cigarettes. Dr Lim Boon Leng, a psychiatrist, said depending on the user’s motivation, e-cigarettes can be a boon or poison. He said if e-cigarettes are given to people who have no intention to quit smoking or people who don’t smoke, especially the young people, they may become addicted. To get the same amount of kick, their consumption may increase, especially when they’re stressed out. But he added those with a motivation to quit can moderate their nicotine intake by titrating down slowly and conveniently.
Matthew Goh, 25, a sales executive, has been smoking since he was 18. This ban on e-cigarettes will not change his habits. But he did see the benefits of the ban. “I see teenagers use electronic cigarettes. I find it hard to accept the sight of them,” said Matthew Goh. He spent a few months trying e-cigarettes and thought them a cheaper alternative. Then he returned to his old habit. “I can’t compare the effects, but I think I take in more nicotine because unlike regular cigarettes, it’s hard to keep count.”
Ryan is a writer, editor and content creator who spends most of his time bringing the interesting, entertaining, original and well-written articles to vapers. He believes that vaping is not only a healthier alternative to smoking, but also a great experience of life.