Singapore — Three teenagers have been dealt with by the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) for using an electronic vaporiser on board an MRT train.
The HSA said in a press release on Friday (July 17) that it had taken enforcement action against the three teens, who were 13, 16 and 18 years old.
The action included conditional warnings to the younger two which require them to stay crime-free for 12 months and complete a community rehabilitative programme, according to a channelnewsasia.com report.
The action also included composition fines of S$200 to S$500 for other related violations of the Tobacco (Control of Advertisements and Sale) Act.
The HSA was alerted to the incident on March 29, 2020, through a video of the teens breaching the law while on board the train on the Circle Line on March 25. The three could be seen taking turns inhaling the e-vaporiser. One took the liberty of filming and uploading their actions on social media. Officers from the Public Transport Security Command of the Singapore Police Force later identified the offenders.
The HSA noted it takes a “very serious view” of the possession and use of banned e-vaporisers and will take “stern actions” against anyone who consciously breaks the law. “In this instance, the teenagers had blatantly flouted the law by vaping in plain sight of commuters on the train where smoking is prohibited, and deliberately flaunted their offence on social media,” it said.
Under the Tobacco Act, the purchase, possession and use of e-vaporisers is prohibited, including those purchased online and overseas. Offenders can be fined up to S$2,000.
The HSA disclosed that from Feb 1, 2018, to June 30 this year, 1,335 individuals were caught for breaking the law.
Under the Act, the import, distribution, possession for sale or offer for sale of such products are also prohibited. Offenders can be fined up to S$10,000 or jailed up to six months or both for the first offence. Repeat offenders face up to a S$20,000 fine, jail of up to 12 months, or both.
In response to the news, at least one person online has called for debate and review of all juvenile law in Singapore. Others commended the HSA for imposing the fines and conditional warnings to teach the youths a lesson.
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