Chewing Gum Is Illegal in This Country—and No, We’re Not Kidding

Look at any sidewalk and the law makes sense.

The United States has its fair share of weird laws. You’d be crazy (or “Texas,” in Norway) in Texas if you think you can sell your eyes, nuts in Nebraska if your child burps in church, and wacko in Wisconsin if you were to worry a squirrel.

In Singapore, chewing gum can be a criminal offense  (Bad news, C-section patients, and toothache-havers)

Modern Singapore is almost unrecognizable compared to its early years, and the spirit of the gum ban goes along with spirit which formed the Singaporean societal identity. Shortly after its creation as a sovereign nation in 1965, the Singaporean began to implement a series of laws which aimed to turn the small country into a Southeast Asian paradise.

Singapore became spotless in short order after its founding and proceeded to grow into a trading titan. But the gum-related laws would come close to three decades after its founding. And the rationale was simple; used chewing gum ends up everywhere, from sidewalks to subways to statues.

Chewing-Gum-Is-Illegal-in-This-Country—And-No,-We’re-Not-Kiddinghagut/shutterstock

The first prime minister of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew, saw improper gum disposal as an attack on the very country he saw grow from humble beginnings, according to the BBC. 

The problem with modern societies has been sitting below the counter at 7-11 this whole time.

There are certain exceptions to the law, however. If someone has a medical reason for chewing away (and there are health benefits in gum chewing), then they are free from the law, if prescribed by a medical professional.

Nowadays, the enforcement of the law has lightened, and small amounts of the stuff can be brought into the country for personal use, although most Singaporeans just shy away.  Spitting it on the ground, however, could cost you upwards of $1,000.

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