A Country That Bans Vaping Just Busted $2 Million Worth of Products
More than $2 million worth of vapes, components and tobacco products have been seized in Singapore, making it the “largest haul” in the city-state to date.
Acting on a tip-off, officers from the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) inspected an industrial storage facility located north, towards the border with Malaysia. They discovered 10,057 vapes, 48,822 e-vaporiser components, and large quantities of vape juice.
“This is the largest seizure haul of tobacco products by HSA, in terms of the volume and street value of e-vaporizers,” officials said in a statement, adding that the products had an estimated street value of more than $2 million dollars.
No arrests have yet been made but HSA said that three people were currently “assisting in investigations.” The authority also revealed that more than 170 vape raids were carried out between 2018 and 2020.
Vaping continues to surge in many countries around the world. Despite being generally viewed as less harmful than smoking traditional cigarettes, doctors and health experts have warned of serious effects on the body, like burned lungs and the accidental ingestion of toxic metals.
It is banned in Singapore due to public health fears and concerns about its popularity among the youth. Shisha and chewing tobacco are also banned and the sale of cigarettes strictly regulated, with smoking largely prohibited even in most public places.
Under a law introduced in 2018, offenders are subjected to hefty fines and jail terms. But illegal vaping continues, and product seizures have been on the increase
Sales on the black market continue, where vaping products are often smuggled in from neighboring Malaysia and sold openly on platforms like Telegram.
In July, 13 people between the ages of 20 and 40 were jailed and slapped with fines amounting to more than $50,000 after they were caught selling vape products online.
Other incidents saw a Canadian man arrested and jailed for 16 weeks for possessing a vape pen containing cannabis, as well as a 32-year-old Singaporean man fined $7,000 and jailed for two years and three months for selling vape products online.
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