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Old 05-26-2004, 11:11 AM   #1
Foust Farseer
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Default A breakthrough in international gum policy

http://www.cbc.ca/storyview/MSN/2004/05/26/gum040526

Singapore lifts 12-year chewing gum ban
Last Updated Wed, 26 May 2004 00:23:11 EDT

SINGAPORE - Singapore chewing gum enthusiasts rejoiced on Wednesday after the city state lifted draconian laws prohibiting gum consumption and allowed controlled sales for medical purposes.

The laws were brought in 12 years ago to fight litter. The legislation hit the headlines in the West after a U.S. teenager was caned for spitting out a piece of gum on the street.

Those wanting to indulge the decadent habit will have to give their names and produce identification. And gum will continue to be available only at pharmacies.

Pharmacists selling to customers without identification could be jailed for up to two years and fined nearly $3,000 US.

"It's ridiculous that it's easier for 16-year-olds to visit prostitutes than it is to get chewing gum here," a student told the Associated Press.

The relaxation came in response to U.S. pressure in free trade talks.

About 19 medicinal and dental gum products including Nicorettes and Wrigley's will become available to those with proper documentation.

Written by CBC News Online staff
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