Ministry of Health wants all tobacco products sold in Singapore to come in standardised packaging

As part of ongoing efforts to promote healthy living and discourage tobacco consumption, the Ministry of Health (MOH) will introduce standardised packaging with enlarged graphic health warnings (collectively, the “SP Proposal”). 

The SP Proposal will be applied to all tobacco products sold in Singapore.

It involves the removal of all logos, colours, brand images and promotional information on the packaging of tobacco products. Only the brand names and product names can be displayed in a standard colour and font style. 

In addition, there is to be an increase in the minimum size of the mandatory graphic health warnings – from the existing 50 percent to cover 75 percent of all specified tobacco product packaging surfaces.

Current tobacco packaging. Photo: Connected to India
Current tobacco packaging. Photo: Connected to India

Tobacco use is a major cause of ill-health and death in Singapore, MOH said in a statement. 

More than 2,000 Singaporeans die prematurely from smoking-related diseases annually. Of particular concern is the sizable proportion of adult men (more than one in five) who smoke daily. 

MOH noted that the SP Proposal is likely to be effective in reducing the attractiveness of tobacco products. It removes the effects of tobacco packaging as a form of advertising and promotion, increasing the noticeability and effectiveness of graphic health warnings. This will better inform smokers and non-smokers of the risks associated with tobacco use.

MOH will propose amendments to the Tobacco (Control of Advertisements and Sale) Act in early 2019 to introduce the SP Proposal in Singapore.