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Can I smoke in Singapore [Regulations, Prohibitions, and Considerations]

Can I smoke in Singapore? [Regulations, Prohibitions, and Considerations]

However, there are designated areas where you can indulge in your nicotine fix.

These designated smoking zones are like your little safe space amidst no-smoking areas. Will explore them more in this article. 

Smoking Regulations in Singapore

Smoking Regulations in Singapore

The Smoking (Prohibition in Certain Places) Act prohibits smoking in certain outdoor areas like parks, reservoirs, and recreational areas.

The sale of tobacco products is also regulated, with a minimum legal age of 21 for purchasing cigarettes.

There are restrictions on the advertising and promotion of tobacco products as well. Graphic health warnings are mandatory on all tobacco product packaging.

Smoking is banned in private residential homes if it causes annoyance or disruption to neighbors. Property owners and management corporations can also implement additional no-smoking rules.

The regulations are enforced through fines and penalties for violations, such as smoking in non-smoking areas or failing to provide no-smoking signage in required places.

Regulations on Selling Cigarettes Can stores in Singapore still sell cigarettes

In Singapore, stores and supermarkets can still sell cigarettes, but retailers must request valid proof of age from buyers before selling them cigarettes. 

All tobacco product packaging must display graphic health warnings covering at least 75% of the packet surface area as mandated by law.

Vendors must refrain from any form of tobacco product advertising.

While you can purchase them in most stores, you won’t see cigarettes out in the open on the shelves. They’re typically kept behind the counter. 

If you’re craving a smoke, you’ll need to approach the cashier and make your request.

A bit inconvenient isn’t it? But it’s all following Singaporean law.

The reasoning behind this practice is to minimize the visibility and accessibility of tobacco products, particularly to minors.

Regulations on Importing Cigarettes Can you import cigarettes into Singapore from overseas

You can import cigarettes to Singapore from overseas, but they must be declared to customs.

Keep in mind that there’s no GST relief or duty-free concession for tobacco products in Singapore, so you’ll need to pay up if you exceed the limits.

And if you’re importing a large quantity of cigarettes, let’s say 400 grams — you’ll need to present a Customs Import Permit, specifically the Customs In-Payment “Duty and GST” (IPT-DNG) permit.

However, here’s the catch: only businesses can apply for this permit. 

This means you’ll need to register with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) before you can even think about importing larger quantities of cigarettes.

How to Apply for the Cigarette Importation Permit

To start, you should head over to the Singapore Customs website – this is where you’ll find a wealth of information on importing goods, including tobacco products.

Look for the section specifically dedicated to permits and licensing, where you’ll likely find detailed instructions on how to apply for the Customs Import Permit for cigarettes.

Once you’ve located the relevant information, take your time to read through it carefully. Make sure you understand all the requirements and documents needed for the application process.

This might include things like business registration details, identification documents, and information about the quantity and type of cigarettes you intend to import.

If you’re unsure about any aspect of the application process, don’t hesitate to reach out to Singapore Customs for assistance.

Is vaping also illegal in Singapore?

Is vaping also illegal in Singapore

Vaping falls under the same regulations as traditional smoking in Singapore. The sale, importation, distribution, and use of e-cigarettes are all prohibited.

So, if you were planning to indulge in some vape action while exploring the Lion City, you might want to reconsider your plans.

Places Where Smoking is Prohibited in Singapore

Places Where Smoking is Prohibited in Singapore

If you’re within a building or on a public service vehicle, and you suddenly have an urge to smoke, tough luck!

According to the National Environment Agency (NEA), smoking is largely prohibited in these areas:

The last thing you want is to light up near a hospital, right? Smoking is prohibited everywhere around hospital compounds to ensure patients and staff aren’t exposed to harmful secondhand smoke.

Whether it’s a school or college campus, smoking is a big no-no within the compound and even within a five-meter radius of the school boundary.

Those conveniently covered walkways might shield you from the rain, but they’re also off-limits for smokers. Lighting up under a covered linkway is a surefire way to attract a hefty fine.

Impatiently waiting for the bus is not an excuse to light up a cigarette. Smoking is prohibited at bus stops, shelters, and even within a five-meter radius of the waiting shed.

Smoking is also a capital NO in public housing estates and parks managed by Town Councils or JTC Corporation. We want our green spaces to be pristine and smoke-free for everyone to enjoy.

Any area within five meters of ventilation intakes, external windows, entrances, and exits to buildings where smoking is prohibited is off-limits.  

Places Where You Can Smoke in Singapore

Places Where You Can Smoke in Singapore

While smoking is prohibited in most public spaces, there are still a few areas where you can light up legally.

Here’s where you can find them:

Ever noticed those discreet corners outside certain eateries? That’s where you’ll find smokers congregating to enjoy a puff or two.

Need to sneak away for a smoke during your layover at Changi Airport? You should look for the designated smoking rooms conveniently located throughout the terminals. 

Your own abode is a safe haven for smokers. You are free to light up in the comfort of your own home without worrying about breaking the law.

As long as your windows are fully wound up and you’re not expelling secondhand smoke into prohibited areas, you’re free to smoke in your car.

What happens if you’re caught smoking in Singapore?

What happens if you’re caught smoking in Singapore

If you’re caught smoking in Singapore, you’ll be fined up to S$1,000 for the first offense. It gets even more serious for repeat offenders. If you’re caught smoking in a prohibited area again, the fine can soar up to S$5,000.

These fines are no small change! That’s enough to make you think that it’s not worth risking your hard-earned cash for a quick nicotine fix.

You can appeal any fine against smoking in Singapore. But a fair warning – most appeals don’t quite cut. That’s why you’ll need a solid reason for smoking.

Whether it’s financial struggles or health issues, you’ll need to back up your appeal with some hard-hitting evidence.

To start the process, you should head over to the NEA website and get yourself an appeal form.

Once you’ve got that in hand, gather up all the necessary documents to support your case. 

You’ll need a copy of your NRIC if you’re a local, your Student Pass if you’re still studying, or your Employment or Dependant Pass if you’re a foreigner.

Other necessary documents might include a copy of your ID, proof of income, or even a letter from your doctor if you’re appealing on medical grounds.

Once you’ve got all your documents in a row, it’s time to send off your appeal form and supporting documents to the NEA Building and cross your fingers.

Will your appeal be successful? Well, that’s anyone’s guess. But at least you gave it your best shot.

How long is jail time in Singapore for smoking?

How long is jail time in Singapore for smoking

If you ignore two warnings and are caught smoking again in Singapore for the third time, the last resort will be imprisonment with a minimum of six months.

You might even find yourself doing community service as part of the punishment like scrubbing graffiti off walls or picking up trash for a month.

While the authorities aren’t eager to throw you behind bars for a first-time offense, it’s wise not to test your luck.

It might seem tempting to sneak a quick smoke in a restricted area or ignore the warnings, but trust me, it’s not worth the risk.

By knowing where you can or can’t light up your cigarettes, you’re simply following the rules and regulations set by the Singaporean government.

It’s about being aware of the designated smoking areas and respecting the non-smoking zones to maintain a clean and healthy environment for everyone.