Photo: Straits Times

HSA prosecutes five retailers for unlicensed sale of shisha tobacco

The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) announced a press release that it had prosecuted five retailers for the unlicensed sale of shisha molasses/tobacco at their outlets located in the Kampong Glam vicinity.

Here is the list of the retailers that have been prosecuted.


All five were convicted in Court and fined a total of $14,200. Four of the outlets had their tobacco retail licences revoked earlier for tobacco related offences.

Despite that, they persisted in the sale of shisha molasses and tobacco.

HSA noted that Nefertiti Pte Ltd had never applied for a tobacco retail licence but sold shisha tobacco. These cases were detected through HSA’s enforcement activities, which are targeted at deterring the unlicensed sale of tobacco products in Singapore.

Shisha Molasses/ Tobacco is Strictly Prohibited in Singapore

Singapore’s Ministry of Heath announced in 2014 that with effect from 28 November 2014, shisha will be banned in Singapore in view of the health risks associated with shisha smoking and to prevent the proliferation and entrenchment of shisha smoking in Singapore

The announcement made on Thursday, states that the ban of sale and import will be put into effect via the publication of the Prohibited Tobacco Products Regulations made under Section 15 of the Tobacco (Control of Advertisements and Sale) Act.

Any person who is convicted of the above offence is liable to a fine of up to $10,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or to both, for the first offence and to a fine not exceeding $20,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or to both, for the second or subsequent offence.

Any shisha molasses/tobacco imported will be seized and confiscated.

Information pertaining to the prohibition of harmful tobacco products in Singapore is available on HSA’s website.

The public is strongly advised not to purchase or bring shisha molasses/ tobacco into Singapore.

HSA encourages members of the public who have information on the illegal import, distribution, sale or offer for sale of shisha molasses/tobacco to call its Tobacco Regulation Branch at Tel: 6684-2036 or 6684-2037 during office hours (9:00am to 5:30pm, Monday to Friday).

Shisha Tobacco is More Harmful than Cigarettes

On 4 November 2014, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Health, Assoc Prof Dr Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim said in Parliament, “shisha smoking is no less harmful to health as other forms of tobacco use. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a typical session of shisha smoking involves the inhalation of smoke that is equivalent to smoking 100 or more cigarettes. This exposes the shisha smoker to high levels of harmful smoke toxicants including tar, carbon monoxide and nicotine.”

Dr Muhammad Faishal added that the misconception that shisha smoking is less harmful and addictive due to its sweet smelling smoke and water filtration coupled with social nature of shisha smoking have contributed to an increase in shisha smoking globally, particularly among young people. This raises further concerns to the Health ministry that shisha smoking may serve as a gateway to cigarette smoking.