Singapore is the latest country to adopt plain packaging for all tobacco products, including cigars. The Ministry of Health announced that yesterday in a statement. All packaging has to be olive green with 75 percent of the packaging covered with graphic health warnings. And cigar rings will have to be covered with olive green cigar rings over the existing rings to cover brand names and logos.
The new regulations will be in effect from 2020, but retailers will be allowed to sell old stock during a transition period. How long that transition period will be has not been communicated yet.
This is the second time this year that the Singapore government comes with measures to discourage smoking. In February the tax on tobacco was raised by 10 percent. The tobacco tax is currently 427 Singapore Dollar per kilo, which converts to 272 euro. And that amount does not include the sales tax, making tobacco very expensive in Singapore.
Singapore already has very strict smoking laws, it’s hard to find good places to smoke cigars. Indoor smoking in commercial building is prohibited, cigar smokers need to resort to outdoor areas and the number of cigar friendly places is limited. Singapore is also one of the few countries in the world without a duty free allowance on tobacco. You can bring cigars into the country but on every single cigars duty has to be paid.