SINGAPORE: All tobacco products imported into, distributed, sold, offered for sale or possessed for sale in Singapore must comply with the standardised packaging regulations from Wednesday (July 1).

The tobacco products include cigarettes, cigarillos, cigars, beedies, ang hoon and other roll-your-own tobacco.

According to the republic’s Ministry of Health, the requirements set out in the regulations encompass the appearance, packaging and labelling on retail packaging of all tobacco products.

It includes the removal of all logos, colours, images and promotional information on the packaging of tobacco products, other than brand names and variant names displayed in a standard colour and font style.

It would also see an increase in the minimum size of the mandatory graphic health warnings to 75 per cent from the existing 50 per cent of all specified tobacco product packaging surfaces.

The ministry said non-compliance with the regulations is an offence punishable with a fine not exceeding S$10,000, imprisonment for a term of up to six months, or both for first offenders.

“Those with a prior qualifying conviction will face heavier penalties,” the ministry said on its website.

The ministry said a period of 12 months’ notice from July 1, 2019 was given to tobacco manufacturers, importers, wholesalers and retailers to adjust and prepare for the full implementation of the measure from July 1, 2020.

The ministry noted that the measures are part of the republic continued efforts on tobacco control as the use is associated with cancers such as mouth and lung, ischaemic heart disease, stroke, lung disease and many other diseases.

“It is the second highest contributor to ill health and premature death in Singapore,” it said. – Bernama