SINGAPORE: From February last year, when the possession of vaporisers became illegal, to Sep 30 this year, 465 people were caught for the offence.
From January 2017 to Sep 30 this year, there were 219 cases of people selling vaporisers - all of which were sold online.
Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Health Amrin Amin gave these numbers in Parliament in response to a question from Tanjong Pagar GRC MP Melvin Yong on Tuesday (Nov 5).
Mr Yong asked for the number of illegal vaporiser sellers and buyers apprehended in the last three years; the number of purchases made online and in physical stores; and actions taken against these offenders.
The use, purchase or possession of vaporisers could warrant a fine of up to S$2,000. Anyone who sells, possesses for sale, imports or distributes vaporisers faces up to S$10,000 and up to six months in jail for the first offence, under the Tobacco (Control of Advertisements and Sale) Act.
The stiffest penalty imposed was S$99,000, for a seller who was charged on Sep 9 for importing and selling e-vaporisers.
"The enforcement actions taken against these offenders depended on the merits of each case, and included prosecution, composition fines or a warning," Mr Amrin said.
Mr Yong also asked what more can the Ministry of Health could do to deter the purchase and sale of illegal vaporisers in Singapore.
Mr Amrin said the Health Sciences Authority will continue to work with enforcement agencies to deter the illegal import, sale and purchase of vaporisers.
"At the same time, we will strengthen smoking cessation programmes so that smokers can access proven therapies and methods to help them quit smoking," he added.