• June 21, 2024

Young people getting older

Smoking photo
Photo by MyMaSs

The legal age for buying and consuming tobacco products in Singapore is likely to be raised from 18 to 21, according to a Channel News Asia story quoting the Senior Minister of State for Health Amy Khor.

“We want to protect our young from the harms of tobacco, and lay the foundation for good health,” she said in announcing the proposal to parliament yesterday.

The news report said that the restrictions would be phased in over the next few years.

Khor said that in Singapore 45 percent of smokers took up the habit when they were aged between 18 and 21.

Research had shown that adolescent brains had a heightened sensitivity to the effects of nicotine, she said citing a World Health Organization report finding that people who did not start smoking before the age of 21 “are unlikely to ever begin”.

The Health Promotion Board conducted a public consultation on further tobacco control measures between December 2015 and March 2016, and the feedback was said to have shown ‘considerable support’ for raising the minimum legal age for smoking in Singapore.

So to de-normalize tobacco use further and reduce the number of youths picking up the habit, the ministry would propose legislative changes to parliament within a year to raise the minimum legal age to buy tobacco products from 18 to 21, Khor said.