SINGAPORE - Eight people were prosecuted for selling electronic vaporisers (e-vaporisers) and related items in Singapore between November 2020 and February this year.
Goods worth more than $50,000 were seized from them.
The eight, aged 26 to 41, whose cases were unrelated, were fined a total of $172,500, the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) said on Monday (April 5).
The highest penalty of one week's jail and a fine of $61,000 was meted out to repeat offender Akmal Syafiq Marzuki, 33.
He had bought the illegal items from suppliers overseas and sold them through four accounts on online platforms Instagram and Carousell.
His activities were detected and disrupted by HSA officers.
E-vaporisers, which include e-cigarettes and e-cigars, are battery-powered devices that heat a liquid containing nicotine to produce a vapour which is inhaled.
Another online seller, Sarah Davinia Ng See Mun, 32, was fined $11,000 for selling e-vaporisers on Carousell and WhatsApp.
She advertised the devices as "Shisha Time Disposable Electronic Hookahs" which came in flavours such as menthol, blueberry and grape.
Interested buyers would message her on the platforms.
She operated the business with her husband, who assisted in delivering the products to customers. He was issued a warning for delivering the banned products.
HSA also prosecuted 25-year-old Chia Wen Zhe for possessing an e-vaporiser. He was fined $500.
HSA has been dealing with more e-vaporiser cases over the last few years.
In 2017 and 2018, it handled 1,744 e-vaporiser cases. This grew to 4,676 cases in 2019 and 2020.
A total of 43 people were prosecuted for the sale of e-vaporisers and related items between January 2018 and February this year.
The highest fine meted out so far was $99,000 in 2019, to a man who bought the vaporisers from various overseas suppliers, and advertised and resold them on the website huntersbrew.net
Under the Tobacco (Control of Advertisements and Sale) Act, it is illegal to import, distribute or sell harmful or imitation tobacco products which include shisha tobacco, smokeless tobacco and chewing tobacco such as Gutkha, Khaini, Zarda, as well as e-vaporisers and their accessories, HSA said.
Anyone found guilty of the offence can be fined up to $10,000 or jailed for up to six months, or both.
A repeat offender can be fined a maximum of $20,000 on each charge, or imprisoned a maximum of 12 months, or both.