SINGAPORE: The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) said on Friday (Jul 17) it has taken enforcement action against three teenagers who had used an electronic vaporiser while they were in an MRT train.
Two of them, aged 13 and 16, were issued conditional warnings requiring them to complete a community rehabilitative programme and stay crime-free for 12 months.
The teens, one of whom is 18, were also fined S$200 to S$500 for other related offences detected under the Tobacco (Control of Advertisements and Sale) Act.
In a press release, HSA said it was alerted to a video of the teens using an e-vaporiser on Mar 29 this year.
They were identified by officers from the Public Transport Security Command of the Singapore Police Force.
Investigations showed that the trio took turns to use the e-vaporiser on board an MRT train along the Circle Line on Mar 25. One of them filmed the video and uploaded it on social media, said HSA.
An eight-second video circulating online shows a group of youths in an MRT cabin. One of them is seen using a pen-like object and blowing vapour into a friend's shirt.
HSA said it takes a "very serious view" of the possession and use of banned e-vaporisers and related items, and will take "stern actions" against any individuals who knowingly flout 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," said HSA.
As the two underaged teenagers are first-time offenders, they are required to undergo rehabilitation in the community. They can be prosecuted in court if they re-offend during the 12-month period.
E-vaporisers are banned in Singapore under the Tobacco Act, which includes the use, possession and purchase of one. This includes e-vaporisers purchased over the Internet and from overseas.
From Feb 1, 2018 to Jun 30, 2020, 1,335 people have been caught for the use of e-vaporisers, said HSA.
Offenders can be fined up to S$2,000.
The import, distribution, possession for sale, sale or offer for sale of such products are also banned under the Act.
Offenders can be fined up to S$10,000, jailed up to six months or both for the first offence. For subsequent offences, offenders can be fined up to S$20,000, jailed up to 12 months or both.