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Free Content Overview of legislation and tobacco control in Singapore

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Legislative measures against smoking in Singapore began in the early 1970s, and can be said to have been the start of a comprehensive smoking control programme. With the launch of the National Smoking Control Programme (NSCP) in 1986, a National Smoking Control Coordinating Committee was set up to look into legislation and fiscal measures. To further increase the dimension and impact of the programme, a Civic Committee on Smoking Control was formed in 1996. This committee also looks into and recommends legislative measures.

The NSCP is an ongoing programme that aims to reduce smoking rates through a combination of strategies, including education, establishment of no-smoking areas and increasing taxation and legislative measures. Existing legislation is regularly and systematically reviewed and revised, and new laws are recommended to strengthen our smoking control efforts. Concurrently, penalties and ways to improve enforcement of the legislation are also updated.

The legislative measures that have been implemented in Singapore over the years include prohibition of tobacco advertising and promotion, restrictions on the sale of tobacco products, licensing of sales outlets, use of health warnings on cigarette packets, controlling and labelling of tar and nicotine contents, restriction of smoking in public places and prohibition of smoking in public by the under-eighteens.

Several factors have helped make legislative measures work in Singapore. These include political will and support, starting legislation early, comprehensive legislative measures, enforcement measures and continuous review. To sustain these efforts, Singapore needs to continue to stay abreast of world-wide measures on smoking control.
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Keywords: legislation; overview; smoking control; tobacco control

Document Type: Review Article

Affiliations: 1: Health Education Services, National Health Education Department, Ministry of Health, Singapore 2: Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Singapore 3: School Health Service, Ministry of Health, Singapore

Publication date: November 1, 2000

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