More vaping cases in 2023, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

More vaping cases in 2023

The purchase, use or possession of vapes in 2023 jumped to about 7,900 cases, from about 5,000 cases in 2022 and 4,700 cases in 2021.

Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Health Rahayu Mahzam revealed these numbers in Parliament on April 2.

She was responding to a question from Mr Ang Wei Neng (West Coast GRC) about vaping feedback, the size of the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) enforcement team and the number of vaping offences.

She said: “While HSA is primarily a scientific agency with a modestly-sized enforcement team, it is supplemented by outsourcing and enforcement support from other agencies such as the National Environment Agency, National Parks Board and Immigration and Checkpoints Authority.”

Ms Rahayu added that HSA received 1,700, 1,500 and 2,070 vaping-related feedback from the public and through other agencies in 2021, 2022, and 2023 respectively.

She said there were about 7,600, 5,600 and 8,000 vaping-related offences during those respective years.

Mr Ang also asked whether HSA’s enforcement team had grown in the last three years, and whether there could be a “no wrong door” policy when the different agencies received feedback about vaping.

According to the Public Service Division, under this policy, the agency that receives feedback on an issue that is not under its purview should identify the agency responsible and ensure that it will take up the case, before putting that organisation in touch with the person who provided the feedback.

Mr Ang raised his concerns about the younger generation picking up vaping.

He said: “We don’t want a young generation that’s a vaping generation in Singapore.”

Mr Yip Hon Weng (Yio Chu Kang) asked whether the enforcement processes could be better aligned.

Ms Rahayu said the health authorities will continue to monitor the situation, and that the size of the enforcement team can be adjusted accordingly.

Vaping has been banned in Singapore since 2018.

Buying, owning or using a vaporiser in Singapore can result in fines of up to $2,000.

First-time offenders who import, distribute, sell or offer for sale e-vaporisers and their components can be fined up to $10,000, jailed for up to six months, or both.