We all know e-cigarettes in any form are illegal.
But how illegal?
Woman Fined $11K for Importing & Selling ‘E-Ciggs’ on Carousell
Before importing e-cigarettes, Sarah Davinia Ng sold clothes on Carousell. As she did not earn much profit from clothing sales, she turned to selling e-cigarettes in February last year.
Her career was short-lived, though.
She was caught a month later when an undercover officer from the Health Sciences Authority’s tobacco regulation branch pretended to purchase her goods.
Ng had imported over 200 electronic Hookahs. Hookahs are traditionally water vessels used to smoke shisha, which is a tobacco product that is also banned in Singapore since 2018.
Ng had obtained all her imports from AliExpress, and imported a total of 221 Hookahs. It was reported that she sold 28 items to six different buyers on Carousell, ‘Yard Sale Diva’.
Ng sold “Shisha Time Disposable Electronic Hookahs” which came in different flavours; menthol, blueberry, grape and strawberry.
Once listed on Carousell, interested buyers could contact her there or on Whatsapp. While chatting with her buyers, they would come to an agreement on the prices and method of dealing. Ng would offer in person meetings or bank transfer and mailing.
If buyers chose to pay for their items upon meetup, Ng would send her husband to deliver the items and collect the money.
On February 26 2019, an undercover officer enquired about 10 e-hookahs. She allegedly offered him the items for discounted price of $75 instead of the usual $80.
What a steal.
They arranged to meet in early March, somewhere close to her mother-in-law’s residence.
Ng’s husband then met with the undercover officer, and was detained for investigations. Ng was later detained after he had led officers to their home.
On Thursday (17 December), she pleaded guilty to seven charges of importing and selling these devices under the Tobacco (Control of Advertisements and Sale) Act. 21 other similar charges were also taken into consideration when sentencing.
She was ordered to pay a fine of $11,000.
For each charge of importing and selling imitation tobacco products, Ng could have been fined up to S$10,000 or jailed up to six months, or both.
Why E-cigarettes Are Banned
The importation and sale of e-cigarettes have always been banned in Singapore. However, the ban extended to purchasing, usage and possession in 2018.
In other words, having one in your house is against the law, even if you intend to use it as a paperweight.
This ban is to protect the public from the harmful effects of tobacco products.
E-cigarettes are also not as “healthy” as people make them out to be.
Nicotine is present in e-cigarettes, and it is highly addictive. Not only is it toxic, but it can also harm parts of the brain that control attention, memory and learning. This may also result in permanent damage to your impulse control.
It was also reported that youths who started on e-cigarettes are more likely to become regular smokers. In fact, 70% of young people do not realise that using e-cigarettes was harmful.
Featured Image: Health Sciences Authority
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