Why Chewing Gum Is Banned In Singapore?

Why Chewing Gum Is Banned In Singapore?

Chewing gum is illegal in Singapore under the Regulation of Imports and Exports of chewing Gum laws.

The ban, which incorporates all gum substances of vegetable or artificial origins like gum and dental chewing gum, carries a hefty fine and attainable jail term for those caught importing, marketing or producing chewing gum. When Singapore became independent in 1965 it had been a small country with few resources, so Lee, the country's first prime minister, hatched a survival set up. This hinged on creating the city-state a "first-world oasis in a third-world region".

Why chewing gum is banned in Singapore?

One of the main objectives of the ban was to stop vandals from using spent chewing gums to disrupt Mass rapid transit (MRT) services.
Before the ban was implemented, there had been several instances during which vandals stuck chewing gum on door sensors of MRT trains that prevented the doors from functioning properly and inflicting disruptions in train services. The chewing gum ban was enforced to eradicate problems created by chewing-gum litter in public places like cinemas, parks and customary areas of housing estates like lifts, staircases, and corridors, also as the high prices concerned to wash up the litter.

The Housing and Development Board (HDB) reportedly spent S$150,000 annually to wash up chewing gum litter. While you can chew gum in Singapore, But, if you're caught importing chewing gum, you'll be punished up to $10,000 or confined up to 1 year for first-time offenders.

When and how banning chewing gum took place?

The various issues created by chewing-gum litter and also the idea of banning chewing gum were initially raised in 1983 by then Minister for Foreign Affairs and Culture S. Dhanabalan. Within the 1980s, before the ban came into effect on 3 January 1992, the govt had already implemented some controls over the sale of chewing gum. Then Singapore Broadcasting Corporation was prohibited from showing commercials that promoted the sale of chewing gum, while school tuckshops were told to prevent selling chewing gum to students.

The ban remains one in all the best-known aspects of life in Singapore, together with the country's laws against litter, graffiti, jaywalking, spitting, expelling "mucus from the nose" and urinating anywhere but in a toilet.

Result and Public response to Banning chewing gum!

When first introduced, the ban caused much controversy and a few open defiances. Some people took the difficulty of traveling to neighboring Johor Bahru, Malaysia, to get chewing gum. Offenders were publicly "named and shamed" by the govt, to serve as a deterrent to other would-be smugglers.
No black marketplace for chewing gum in Singapore ever emerged, although some Singaporeans sometimes still manage to import some chewing gum from Johor Bahru for his or her own consumption.

The ban has been partially lifted, as some kinds of gum are allowable like gum chewed for dental health. However, the govt refuses to completely lift the ban because of the danger of gum littering again.


The infamous chewing gum ban in Singapore may be a confusing one for foreigners, but the reasons behind it are simple: incidents of gum stuck between MRT train doors caused disruptions and cleaning up carelessly disposed chewing gum was costing Singapore an excessive amount of money in 1991.