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Smoking in Singapore

Current smoking trends for the overall adult population in Singapore show a very slight decrease from 2000 (16.4%) to 2015 (16.1%), with a projection to decrease further to 15.8% by 2025. The downwards trend has been driven by changes in women's smoking behaviour. For women there has been a downwards year by year trend in smoking prevalence, from 5.3% in 2000 to 4.5% in 2015, with a further projected decrease to around 4% by 2025. For men, there has been a slight upwards trend, with 27.7% being current smokers in 2000, 28.1% in 2015 and a projection to increase a little further to 28.2% by 2025. The WHO published prevalence trend estimates in tobacco smoking, as shown here, in their 2018 2nd edition report, which show slightly different smoking prevalence to the WHO country profiles. Data for the estimates were obtained from WHO databases. The trend lines are projections, not predictions, of future attainment. A projection indicates a likely endpoint if the country maintains its tobacco control efforts at the same level that it has implemented them to date. Therefore the impact of recent interventions could alter the expected endpoint shown in the projection. While the methods of estimation used in the first and second editions of the WHO report are the same, the volume of data available for the second edition is larger i.e. 200 more national surveys. The results presented are therefore more robust.

Read articles from Singapore

April 15, 2024 by

Vaping among youth in Singapore: The real damage it is doing to their bodies

Vaping-related respiratory issues are a concern, with patients often not disclosing their vaping history to doctors. Cases are not systematically tracked in hospitals, hindering treatment. Singapore has seen vaping-related breathing problems, requiring specialized treatments like lung washing. Globally, vaping's popularity has surged, especially among teenagers and young adults. Despite claims of being a healthier alternative, the World Health Organization urges treating e-cigarettes like tobacco and banning flavors.

January 18, 2024 by

Vaping clouds efforts by cessation clinics to help smokers quit for good

Mr Dandiar Rosli used to burn through a pack of cigarettes a day. In an effort to kick the habit a few years ago, he turned to electronic vapourisers, commonly known as vapes, believing they were a healthier choice that would wean him off cigarettes. Two months into vaping, however, he started waking up in the middle of the night with coughing fits that produced yellowish-green phlegm. Mr Dandiar, who was 34 back then, was also constantly breathless and panting even while sitting or lying down.

January 11, 2024 by

Potential loss in tobacco tax revenue not a factor in e-cigarette ban: Lawrence Wong

Public health, not potential tax revenue losses, was the reason Singapore decided to ban electronic cigarettes in 2018, Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong said on Wednesday (Jan 10). Member of Parliament James Lim (WP-Sengkang) had filed questions on e-cigarettes or vapes, asking if the potential loss of tax revenue was a factor in disallowing e-cigarettes. In a written reply, Mr Wong said the ban was to protect Singapore's population from the harms of e-cigarettes, also known as vapes.

January 09, 2024 by

Singapore cracks down on vaping as Lee Hsien Yang calls for lift on e-cigarette ban

The authorities have cracked down on those found with vapes at the end of 2023 and the start of 2024, with hundreds being fined after being found with e-vaporisers in several operations in December. Amid these actions, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s estranged younger brother, Lee Hsien Yang, has called on the Government to lift its ban on e-cigarettes. In response to a crackdown in early December at Zoukout, Mr Lee Hsien Yang wrote on Facebook on 8 Dec: “Singapore should lift the ban e-cigarettes. The benefits that would accrue from regulated use of e-cigarettes outweigh the potential risks involved.”

December 19, 2023 by

Singapore will boost enforcement and education efforts to curb vaping

The authorities will be stepping up enforcement and education efforts against vaping to prevent it from having a foothold in Singapore. This comes as users continue to buy e-vaporisers or vapes online, or when they go overseas, despite the ban on these products, the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) and the Ministry of Health (MOH) said in a joint statement on Dec 19. Those who possess, use or buy e-vaporisers may be fined up to $2,000.

December 19, 2023 by

Singapore to step up enforcement against vapes at Changi Airport and other checkpoints

As part of a multi-agency effort to clamp down on vaping, Singapore authorities will step up checks at air, land and sea checkpoints in the coming months, starting with Changi Airport. "Incoming passengers may be screened for e-vaporisers and their components at the arrival halls, and those found with e-vaporisers or their components will be fined," said the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) in a media release on Tuesday (Dec 19). Passengers carrying e-vaporisers must pass through the Red Channel, which is for people with goods to declare, so that they can dispose of the prohibited items. 

November 16, 2020 by

Commentary: Smoking near windows dismissed as neighbourly nuisance but has public health costs


SINGAPORE: Singapore has been a tough place for a smoker to live in.

Smokers cannot seem to catch a break, particularly with the suggestion to ban smoking near home balconies and windows by Nee Soon GRC Member of Parliament and Group Parliament Committee for Sustainability and Environment Louis Ng in October reviving a national debate about how far the country should go to combat smoking completely.


Make smokers close their windows when they smoke, some suggested. 

Ban smoking altogether, a few frustrated netizens said.

August 12, 2020 by

Singapore: Tobacco Standardised Packaging Gone Into Effect on July 1st

In October 2018, Singapore’s Ministry of Health (MOH) had announced that it would be introducing standardised packaging for tobacco products, including cigarettes, cigarillos, cigars, beedies [...] and other roll-your-own tobacco products, as part of ongoing efforts to reduce local smoking rates. The measure has finally gone into effect, and besides plain packaging, meaning that all logos, colours, images and promotional information on the packaging of tobacco products should be removed, it includes a clause requiring graphic health warnings that cover at least 75% of the packet.

April 17, 2020 by

Singapore: Smokers to Get Subsidies for NRTs

Singaporean smokers enrolling in newly launched smoking cessation pilot programmes, will be entitled to full subsidies for nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) in order to help them quit smoking. [...] The programme aims to reach approximately 10,000 smokers, and interested parties would benefit from intensive behavioural support, follow-up for up to a year and a three-month NRT supply. The success rate via such smoking cessation programmes is believed to range from 10 to 20 per cent. [...] Dr Daniel Fung, said that there are various methods to quit smoking, with the NRT being the most common method.

February 11, 2019 by

Bill to enforce plain packaging for tobacco products passed in Parliament

SINGAPORE: New restrictions on cigarette packaging will be introduced in Singapore, after amendments to the Tobacco (Control of Advertisements and Sale) Bill were passed in Parliament on Monday (Feb 11).

All tobacco products will be have to be sold in plain packaging - in a standardised colour and with all logos, brand images and promotional information removed. Brand names and product names will be allowed, but only in a standard colour and font style.