Do you smoke? How did you get started?
Maybe you started because of friends asking you to try. Or maybe, you just find your eyes straying to the cool blue boxes of LM Chill and feel like giving it a shot.
Well, if it’s because of the former, then you’re out of luck.
But if it was because of the latter, well, you wouldn’t have gotten started if it was 1 July 2020, according to our Ministry of Health.
Stuffed Into Neat Looking Boxes
Imagine a world where regardless of what you are, you’ll be packaged into neat little boxes uniform on the outside.
Cynical Joe: Wait, isn’t that already happening? That’s my life in a nutshell, bruh.
Oh, shush. No matter whether it’s already happening, or it offends you to even think about such a situation, it is going to happen next year.
To cigarettes, in fact.
It doesn’t matter if you smoke LM, Marlboro, LD, Sampoerna or any other cigarette brand.
Here’s what your cigarette pack will look like come next year
Known as the SP Measure, tobacco products affected include:
- Ang hoon
- Other roll-your-own tobacco products
The only thing that helps to differentiate between brands is the name and product written in a uniform font.
And if you noticed that the body part picture is bigger, that’s because it is.
Currently, graphic health warning about the harmful effects of smoking is at 50% of the packaging surface. It will be increased to 75%.
Supported by International Studies
If there’s one thing the Singapore government is known for, it’s that they don’t do things without overwhelming evidence (i.e. precedents).
And the Ministry of Health said that they’ve introduced the SP Measures after an “extensive review of local and international studies, research and evidence on the SP Measure, and several rounds of public consultations.”
It was also mentioned that similar anti-smoking measures implemented overseas helped in the war against smoking.
When is it coming?
So, the official date of the rule coming into effect is 1 July 2020.
But there’ll be a transition period from Apr to Jun 2019 where importers can sell both the old packaging and the new ones.
This, they hope, will help the sellers to adjust to the new climate.
If you’re discovered to have flouted the SP regulations after 1 July next year, you can be jailed up to six months, fined up to $10,000 for first-time offenders.
Naturally, the penalty gets heavier if you’re a repeat offender.
And, well, if you’re someone who somehow manages to get your hands on contraband cigarettes, it’s going to be even harder to hide from the authorities.
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