Warnings and Dangers in Singapore Smoking
Singapore has a reputation for stringent rules and regulations. There are posters displayed prominently in public places warning people what to do and what not to do. Here’s what you need to know about smoking in Singapore.
Where Can’t You Smoke in Singapore?
Smoking is strictly forbidden in public buildings, government offices, workplaces, MRT stations, bus interchanges, elevators, shopping centers, air-conditioned restaurants, taxis, buses and theatres. It’s also prohibited in indoor fast-food outlets, bowling alleys, bars, nightclubs and many other public spaces. Be very careful where you choose to smoke because you’ll face a steep fine if you break this rule. First-time offenders can face a fine of up to S$1,000, and repeat offenders face one of up to S$2,000 and a Corrective Work Order (CWO). The same rules apply to locals and visitors. If you are a smoker, carefully look for designated places where smoking is allowed (there are a few places left, but the list is continuously dwindling) to be sure you aren’t inadvertently breaking any laws. You’ll want to avoid any penalties.
Can You Bring Cigarettes Into Singapore?
Bringing cigarettes into Singapore is a chargeable offense. It doesn’t matter if you are entering via air or sea, Singapore customs is very strict about bringing tax-free cigarettes into the country. All cigarettes and tobacco products are subject to duty fees, including those purchased in Singapore with the SDPC mark (“Singapore Duty Paid Cigarette”). This mark differentiates between Singapore-bought cigarettes and contraband ones.
There are officers waiting when you collect your bags; each item of luggage is put through a machine to check for cigarettes. If you have them in your possession, you will be fined–a big mistake to make because the fines are expensive. Unofficially, you may be able to bring in one packet of cigarettes to Singapore for personal consumption (i.e. if you have an open pack, you’ll possibly be left alone–but there are no guarantees). While buying cigarettes in Singapore is costly, it’s still way cheaper than the fines imposed for trying to sneak them in.
Other Forbidden Items
It is not just tobacco products that are not allowed to be brought into Singapore; the law includes smokeless and e-cigarettes too. Chewing gum is another huge no-no because the import, sale, and possession of chewing gum is banned. Also avoid anything drug-related–there are stiff penalties (people involved in trafficking face the death penalty). When using rail travel, be sure not to eat or drink on the trains.
People who break the rules in Singapore quickly will learn these acts have harsh fines associated with them. However, visitors who show respect to these laws can easily avoid the fines and penalties associated with unlawful behavior and should not have any problems at all during their visit.
Editor’s Note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about smoking rules in Singapore.