moking Guide in Singapore for Travelers

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Ultimate Guide to Smoking in Singapore for Smoking Travelers: Rules, Regulations, and Tips.

Welcome to our Smoking Guide in Singapore for Smoking Travelers.

Singapore Cigarettes Packing

As a visitor to the Lion City with a penchant for smoking in Singapore, staying informed about the stringent local smoking laws is essential for a seamless travel experience.

Singapore prides itself on its cleanliness and rigorous enforcement of public health regulations, which include smoking in public spaces.

This guide will provide a detailed overview of Singapore’s smoking rules and regulations.

We aim to equip you with the knowledge to navigate the city’s anti-smoking policies confidently.

Additionally, we’ll offer handy tips on locating designated smoking zones and advice on how to fully enjoy your visit without infringing on local laws.

By understanding these essential guidelines, you can ensure that your smoking habits align with Singapore’s public standards and avoid fines and other potential issues.

Let’s delve into the key points you need to know as a smoker traveling in Singapore.

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Regulatory Overview and Legal Context

As a resident and travel blogger, I’ve seen how Singapore’s smoking laws affect locals and travelers.

This section will briefly overview the legal context and regulations surrounding smoking in Singapore.

Understanding Singapore’s Smoking Laws

The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) and the National Environment Agency (NEA) administer Singapore’s smoking regulations.

The HSA administers the Tobacco (Control of Advertisements and Sale) Act, while the NEA focuses on the Smoking (Prohibition in Certain Places) Act.

Singapore Restriction Age for Smoking

In Singapore, the legal age for smoking is 21 years old. This applies to the purchase, use, possession, sale, and supply of tobacco products. This change was introduced to reduce smoking prevalence and limit access to tobacco.

The government is quite strict about penalties for smoking offenses. Depending on the severity of the offense, offenders may be fined or taken to court.

As a smoker, you must know these regulations to avoid any inconvenience during your visit.

Here are some quick facts related to smoking in Singapore:

  • Singapore stands out globally for its strict stance on tobacco control, as it does not permit any duty-free allowance for cigarettes or tobacco products for anyone, be it a resident or a traveler.
  • In essence, the permitted quantity for bringing in tobacco without duty is none at all – absolutely ZERO.
  • If you carry any cigarettes or tobacco products upon arrival, you must declare them at customs.

    To legally bring them into Singapore, you’ll need to pay the required taxes at the customs checkpoint, where you will receive a receipt for the payment.

    Keep this receipt on hand, as you may need to present it if asked by customs officers within the country.
  • Failing to declare your tobacco products can lead to severe penalties. If caught by customs without a declaration, you could face a fine of SGD 2000 for each carton of cigarettes or SGD 200 for every pack of 20 cigarettes.
  • Singapore enforces these fines stringently. For those unfamiliar with the local market, it’s worth noting that cigarette prices in Singapore are among the highest in the world, with a single pack of 20 cigarettes starting at over SGD 10, varying by brand.
  • Designated smoking areas: These are available at various locations, such as outdoor eateries and the specific regions within larger establishments.
  • Bus stops, train stations, covered walkways, children’s playgrounds, and areas within 5 meters of building entrances are public areas where smoking is prohibited.

The Smoking (Prohibition in Certain Places) Act Explained

The Smoking (Prohibition in Certain Places) Act outlines the locations where smoking is prohibited.

Generally, smoking in Singapore is prohibited in many public places, including public transportation, shopping malls, and enclosed areas within buildings.

However, there are designated smoking areas and indoor smoking rooms where you can light up.

Singapore No Smoking Zone

Most establishments have clear signs indicating smoking and non-smoking areas, so it’s pretty easy to identify the right spots.

Some places, like multi-story carparks, also allow smoking in uncovered areas on their rooftops.

Things you should notice about Smoking in Singapore:

  • Always be aware of your surroundings and look for signs indicating smoking and non-smoking areas.
  • If unsure, ask for assistance from locals or staff members at the establishments you visit.
  • Carry a portable ashtray with you to dispose of your cigarette butts responsibly.

Realtime Tips and Tricks based on travelers’ experience

As a local, I’ve noticed that many foreign visitors have shared their experiences despite the strict tobacco regulations.

So, let me share with you some experiences from the travelers below:

It’s a common misconception that carrying one opened pack of cigarettes into Singapore might be overlooked, but the reality is that you risk a $500 fine for each pack if taxes haven’t been settled.

Many pay the tax, approximately $6 per pack, to avoid any trouble. This cautious approach became more prevalent after intense enforcement some years ago when travelers faced hefty fines at the airport.

Although intense enforcement has passed, the lingering memory of it has led many to opt for caution and willingly pay the duty tax to avoid any potential issues.


The official rule is that no duty-free cigarettes are allowed, but an open pack often passes without issue in practice. Navigating Customs can feel like a gamble; I’m stopped for inspection about half the time I travel.
Had I been carrying a carton of cigarettes in my luggage during those instances, it would have been confiscated.
Once, I inadvertently carried an open pack in my pocket and an unopened one in my carry-on, and Customs officials didn’t make much of a fuss when they found them.
On the same journey, a friend of mine breezed through Customs with two cartons in a duty-free bag, untouched.
Ultimately, the decision is yours, but I think it’s not worth the risk. While cigarette prices in Singapore are high, they’re still more affordable than in the UK or France.


Contrary to some claims, only an opened pack with at least one cigarette missing may be overlooked by Singapore Customs. Attempting to bring in a full pack, or more, could result in being held for questioning.

Being found with undeclared cigarettes upon entering Singapore incurs an immediate fine of $200 per pack. Additionally, the cigarettes are seized, and you’re presented with the option to pay duty, which is approximately $7 per pack. When I faced this situation, I declined to pay the duty, but was advised that it would be more cost-effective than buying new packs in Singapore.

Furthermore, a note is made in your immigration record, and you’re informed that a second offense will attract a $500 fine per pack. The consequences for a third offense are unclear, but the prospect of a $500 fine is a strong deterrent against bringing any non-compliant items into the country.

Although my experience dates back a few years, I would still advise against testing your luck with Singapore’s strict tobacco regulations.


Cigarette Allowance and Duties

When bringing cigarettes or tobacco products into Singapore, travelers should be aware that there is a strict allowance of 0.

In other words, you cannot bring in cigarettes or tobacco products without paying taxes and duties.

Customs Fine because of Cigarettes

If you are found with tobacco products, you must pay the corresponding taxes and import duties.

The cigarette tax is SGD0.491 per stick, while the tobacco tax is SGD0.446 per gram.

Remember that carrying these products without paying the duties may result in a fine or prosecution. I always pay my taxes when I travel, as I don’t want to get caught in any legal issues.

Example of customs Fine Letter of non declared cigarettes
Example fine letter if you don’t declare your cigarettes. (Source)

To give you an idea of how much you might end up paying, let’s consider this example:

ItemQuantityTax RateTotal Tax
Tobacco (g)50SGD0.446SGD22.30

Importing Tobacco and E-Cigarettes

Be sure to keep in mind that e-cigarettes and other alternative tobacco products such as e-pipes, e-cigars, nicotine-free cigarettes, and smokeless tobacco products (e.g., chewing tobacco) are strictly banned in Singapore. Importing these items can lead to a fine or prosecution.

Vaping is also illegal in Singapore and can cost you up to $2000

Also, chewing tobacco is prohibited in Singapore, so you should not bring any with you if you intend to travel there. It’s best to respect local regulations and avoid any potential trouble.

Based on my personal experience, I find that Singapore has plenty of designated smoking areas, so you won’t have too much difficulty finding a spot if you’re a smoker.

Smoking is prohibited in Singapore

However, be aware of the no-smoking zones, such as parks, restaurants, and shopping centers, where smoking is strictly prohibited. It’s essential to follow the rules and avoid penalties.

Designated Smoking Areas and Restrictions

As a local Singaporean resident, I’d like to share some important information about designated smoking areas and restrictions in Singapore.

Smokers must be aware of these rules to avoid penalties and ensure a pleasant stay when visiting the city.

Locations of Designated Smoking Areas

Designated smoking areas (DSA) can be found in various locations in Singapore.

Smoking is prohibited in most public places, including Orchard Road, parks, void decks, stairwells, educational institutions, reservoirs, recreational beaches, public swimming pools, hawker centers, and pedestrian overhead bridges (source).

Designated Smoking Areas at City area in Singapore
Example of Designated Smoking Area in  Singapore Parks

However, you can still find smoking areas in specific locations, such as some bars and hotels, and uncovered areas on the rooftops of multi-story carparks.

In my experience, it is best to search for designated smoking areas nearby or ask the staff at the location you are visiting. These areas often have proper ventilation and ashtrays. Moreover, DSAs are usually marked with signage to help you identify them.

Penalties for Smoking in Prohibited Places

If caught smoking in prohibited places, you may face penalties. According to the National Environment Agency, it is an offense to smoke in areas listed under the Smoking (Prohibition in Certain Places) Regulations 2018.

It is crucial to comply with these regulations to avoid fines and ensure the well-being of others due to the health risks associated with second-hand smoke.

Here are some common places where smoking is prohibited, along with their respective penalties:

Public TransportUp to S$1,000 fine
LiftsUp to S$1,000 fine
Orchard RoadUp to S$200 fine for first-time offenders; up to S$300 fine for repeat offenders
Parks, Nature Reserves & BeachesUp to S$2,000 fine

How to Responsibly Dispose of Cigarette Butts

Littering cigarette butts in Singapore can result in hefty fines. Therefore, it is crucial to dispose of them responsibly. Here are some steps that have always worked for me:

  1. Locate a suitable receptacle: Most smoking corners and designated smoking areas are equipped with ashtrays or bins specifically for cigarette butt disposal.
  2. Extinguish the cigarette properly: Ensure it is fully extinguished before disposing it. It’s common to find water-filled containers or sand-filled trays to help you put out your cigarette safely.
  3. Use portable ashtrays if necessary: If you can’t locate an appropriate receptacle nearby, consider carrying a portable ashtray with you to dispose of cigarette butts responsibly.

Please be aware of the following potential fines related to smoking in Singapore:

OffenseFine Amount
Smoking in non-designated areasUp to S$1,000
Littering cigarette buttsUp to S$2,000

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the duty-free allowance for cigarettes when entering Singapore?

The duty-free allowance for cigarettes when entering Singapore is quite strict. In fact, there is no duty-free allowance for cigarettes.

You have to declare any tobacco products you bring in and pay the relevant taxes.

Which locations are designated for smoking In Singapore?

There are designated smoking areas within Singapore, usually marked by yellow lines near MRT stations and shopping centers.

The National Environment Agency states that smoking is prohibited around hospital compounds, educational institutions, covered linkways, and public service vehicles.

From my experience, it’s essential to be mindful of your surroundings when smoking, as the rules are tightly enforced.

What are the penalties for smoking in prohibited areas in Singapore?

Smoking in prohibited areas in Singapore can result in hefty fines. First-time offenders face fines up to S$1,000, and even higher for repeat offenders.
I’ve seen signs around the city outlining these penalties, so it’s important to find designated smoking areas to avoid breaking any regulations.

How much does a pack of cigarettes typically cost in Singapore?

The cost of a pack of cigarettes in Singapore is quite high compared to other countries. This is mainly due to taxes. On average, you can expect to pay around S$13 to S$15 for a pack of cigarettes.
As a local, I’ve noticed that these prices can be surprising to visitors, but they reflect the government’s efforts to reduce smoking rates.

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