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Singapore became a Party to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control on May 14, 2004.

Smoke Free Places: Smoking is prohibited in shops, universities and vocational facilities, cultural facilities, and hospitals and other healthcare facilities. Although smoking is prohibited in some indoor public places and workplaces, designated smoking areas can be established in many workplaces, government buildings, hawker centers (establishments where food is prepared, stored, or sold), and public transport facilities, among others.

Tobacco Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorship: Virtually all advertising of tobacco products is banned, with “advertising” defined very broadly to encompass most forms of direct and indirect advertising and promotion. Other forms of advertising and promotion are restricted, including international newspapers and magazines and point of sale product display. Publicity of tobacco sponsorship is prohibited; however, the financial contribution or in-kind support itself it not prohibited.

Tobacco Packaging and Labeling: Packages of smoked tobacco products are required to display one pictorial warning on each of the two principal display areas, occupying at least 50 percent of each surface. There are a total of six rotating warnings, each containing text and a picture. On smokeless tobacco products, text-only warnings must occupy at least 50 percent of each of the two principal display areas. There are three warnings approved for smokeless tobacco products, and they must rotate. All warnings – for both smoked and smokeless tobacco products – include a quitline phone number. The use of packaging or labeling that is misleading, false, deceptive, or likely to create an erroneous impression about the health characteristics of a tobacco product is prohibited.

Roadmap to Tobacco Control Legislation: Two primary pieces of legislation govern tobacco control in Singapore. First, the Smoking (Prohibition in Certain Places) Act authorizes the National Environmental Agency (NEA) to designate places and public vehicles as smoke free. The NEA issued the Smoking (Prohibition in Certain Places) Notification identifying the smoke free public places and transport, in addition to establishing duties, enforcement powers, and penalties. Other regulations and laws further develop the definitions, penalties, and the duties associated with restrictions on smoking in public places and on public transport.

The second primary piece of tobacco control legislation is the Tobacco (Control of Advertisements and Sale) Act. This law governs tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship, and tobacco product packaging and labeling. As with smoke free policies, several other laws and regulations supply additional authority governing these policy areas. The Media Development Authority has issued numerous codes of practice that regulate programming and advertising through various media outlets. Regulations have been issued concerning topics such as: advertisements in foreign newspaper, licensing requirements for the importation and sale of tobacco, and the required text and pictures in health warning messages to be displayed on tobacco products. These implementing regulations include the Tobacco (Control of Advertisements and Sale) (Labelling) Regulations 2012, which establish the requirements for health warnings and revoke the previous requirements contained in the Tobacco (Control of Advertisements and Sale) (Labelling) Regulations that were issued in 2004 and amended in 2006.

Review Status

This country’s legal measures were reviewed by our legal staff. No in-country lawyers or tobacco control experts reviewed our analysis.

Last updated: November 21st 2013
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