Singapore Enacts Plain Packaging Law

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    Cigarette manufacturers operating in Singapore will be required to sell their products in standardized packaging starting July 1, reports The Straits Times.

    The new rule, which also mandates enlarged graphic health warnings, will apply to all tobacco products, including cigarettes, cigarillos, cigars, bidis and roll-your-own tobacco products, according to the Ministry of Health (MOH).

    Announced on Oct 31, 2018, the measures are intended to encourage smokers to quit and discourage nonsmokers from picking up the habit.

    As part of the new regulations, tobacco companies will have to remove from their product packaging all logos, colors, images and promotional information.

    The graphic health warnings must cover at least 75 percent of surfaces, up from the current 50 percent.

    Non-compliance is punishable with a fine of up to SGD10,000 ($7,171), jail of up to six months, or both, for first-time offenders.

    Those with a prior qualifying conviction will face heavier penalties.

    The government of Singapore had given tobacco manufacturers, importers, wholesalers and retailers a year to prepare for the new measures.

    The Health Sciences Authority also sent letters and e-mails to remind tobacco licensees of the new packaging regulations.