Legal age for smoking to be steadily raised from 18 to 21



The minimal age will go as much as 19 on Jan 1, 2019, 20 on Jan 1, 2020 and 21 and Jan 1, 2021.

Picture of a person smoking. (Photo: AFP/Eric Feferberg)

(Updated: )


SINGAPORE: The Minimum Legal Age (MLA) for the acquisition, use, possession, sale and provide of tobacco merchandise shall be elevated from 18 to 21, stated Parliamentary Secretary for Health Amrin Amin on Tuesday (Nov 7).

With the modification to the Tobacco (Control of Advertisements and Sale) Bill, the minimal authorized age shall be progressively raised over a interval of three years to minimise affect on people who smoke at present between the ages of 18 and 21.

“We plan to raise the MLA to 19 on 1st January 2019, 20 on 1st January 2020 and finally to 21 on 1st January 2021,” stated Mr Amrin. “Quitting is a journey and it will take time for smokers to successfully quit. The phased implementation recognises this.”

Earlier he famous that 23 per cent, or about one in four, Singaporean males nonetheless smoke – a determine increased than in Australia (14.5 per cent) and the US (15.6 per cent). Every day, six Singaporeans die prematurely from smoking-related illnesses, stated Mr Amrin.

He defined that the minimal authorized age was being raised for 2 most important causes – adolescent brains being particularly susceptible to nicotine dependancy, and Singaporean knowledge exhibiting that extra must be accomplished to discourage smoking among the many younger.

“The younger someone tries smoking, the higher the probability of him becoming a regular smoker,” stated Mr Amrin. “Smokers who start earlier also find it harder to quit smoking later in life.”

He added that in Singapore, near 95 per cent of people who smoke had their first puff earlier than they turned 21.

“Forty five per cent of smokers became regular smokers between their 18th and 21st birthdays … Among youths below 18, two-thirds of smokers get their tobacco from friends and schoolmates,” Mr Amrin identified.

“Raising the MLA to 21 will imply that retailers can not promote tobacco to youths between their 18th and 21st birthdays, thereby denying such youths and people of their social circles easy accessibility to tobacco.

“We know that social and peer stress strongly affect youths to begin smoking. By elevating the MLA, we’re additional denormalising smoking, significantly for these beneath 21,” he stated.

“This will further reduce opportunities for youths to be tempted to take up smoking before they reach the age of 21.”

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