More than 600kg of smokeless tobacco seized in Little India, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

More than 600kg of smokeless tobacco seized in Little India

Twenty-seven people, aged between 24 and 77, are under investigation for the peddling and possession of smokeless tobacco products in Little India.

The Health Sciences Authority (HSA), working with the police, seized more than 600kg of smokeless tobacco with a street value of more than $100,000 during operations in the enclave from May 15 to June 30, the authorities said on July 11.

Smokeless tobacco is tobacco that can be used without burning, like snuff, snus and chewing tobacco.

Officers found smokeless tobacco hidden under drain covers and stuffed into rubbish bins and electrical boxes at Chander and Veerasamy roads, the authorities said.

Smokeless tobacco is a prohibited substance in Singapore. It contains carcinogens, or chemicals known to cause cancer.

If found guilty of importing, distributing, selling or offering to sell smokeless tobacco, first-time offenders may be fined up to $10,000, jailed for up to six months, or both.

Recalcitrant offenders may be fined up to $20,000, jailed for up to a year, or both.

The offence of possession, purchase and use of smokeless tobacco carries a fine of up to $2,000.

The 27 are also under probe for other property offences, though the police did not provide details about these.

HSA said it will continue to work with partner enforcement agencies to curb the peddling of such products.

In January 2023, customs officers seized more than 800kg of chewing tobacco over six days at Tuas checkpoint.

A survey conducted in December 2023 found a rise in the use of alternative tobacco products like vapes, even as regular cigarette smokers cut back on daily intake.

Members of the public with information on the illegal sale of smokeless tobacco can contact HSA’s Tobacco Regulation Branch on 6684-2036 or 6684-2037 during office hours.