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In Singapore, a country renowned for its strict regulations pertaining to cleanliness such as the ban on importing and chewing gum, the number of places where smoking is prohibited is on the increase. However an article on Yahoo News pointed out that several young people interviewed on Popspoken do not think that placing bans and restrictions will put people off smoking, but on the contrary they suspect that these bans may have the opposite effect.

39% respondents on a Twitter poll, chose the use of e-cigarettes and other alternatives as the most effective anti-smoking tools.
“Teens will always be attracted to things that are banned. With travelling and the internet, they will get their hands on things no matter how difficult it is,” said Chua Wee Siang, 38, a compliance professional. Undergraduate Basia Chow, agrees, “From the viewpoint of smokers, I can understand why banning can do more harm than good, causing a reverse psychology effect where the more you ban, the more people want cigarettes that may lead to the rise of a black market.”

Infact, inline with what Chow said, smuggling contraband cigarettes into Singapore has been a common occurrence. In Fact only last April, 10,000 cartons of unauthorized cigarettes were seized at an entry checkpoint.

E-cigarettes should be available as cessation aides

But this is not all, another problem faced by Singaporeans is the fact that any tobacco harm alternatives such as vaping products are banned in the country, and many feel that at least the city state should be open to such harm reduction tools if they really want people to quit. The article pointed out that in the Twitter poll conducted by Popspoken, ” 39% of the respondents chose ‘e-cigarettes and alternatives’ as the most effective anti-smoking measure.”

“From the viewpoint of smokers, I can understand why banning can do more harm than good, causing a reverse psychology effect where the more you ban, the more people want cigarettes that may lead to the rise of a black market.”Basia Chow, 20, Undergraduate

This sentiment goes inline with current data, and while many young people were found to be in favour of the use of e-cigarettes as cessation tools, others suggested that the products should at least be available on prescription, for smokers seeking to quit. In the UK where vaping has been endorsed for smoking cessation, and e-cigarettes are even given out by Stop Smoking Services, the country is reporting the lowest number of smokers ever recorded since the 70’s.

E-cig rules found to affect the products’ effectiveness