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Officials Seize Over 12,000 Vape Pens from Shops Near Public Schools

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Vape Pens from Shops Near Schools

Consumer protection officials raided five vape product businesses opened near public schools and seized at least 12,000 vape pens and e-cigarettes worth around 3.6 million baht.

On Tuesday night, consumer protection officials investigated three businesses on Soi Ratchadaphisek in Chatuchak district, one on Soi Lat Phrao 122 in Wang Thong Lang district, and another on Soi Ramkhamhaeng 65 in Wang Thong Lang.

On Wednesday, PM’s Office Minister Phuangphet Chunla-iad told reporters that twenty suitcases containing over 12,000 vape pens had been seized. Their retail value was 3.6 million baht.

Ms Phuangphet claimed that vape products marketed near public schools were disguised as snacks, ordinary pens, or even little milk cartons to appeal to young teens. With such packaging, teachers were unaware that delta 8 vape pens and e-cigarettes were for sale nearby.

Nicotine in e-cigarettes and vape pens was a harmful toxin that might harm the brain and impair development until about the age of 25. The minister stated that it has an impact on emotions and learning abilities, as well as an increased risk of addiction to other sorts of drugs.

Vape Pens from Shops Near Schools

Selling Vape Pens and e-Cigarettes Illegal

The raids were carried out in response to Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin’s directive during a cabinet meeting that state authorities increase and combine their efforts to combat e-cigarette smuggling and sale, particularly in outlets near schools.

Thasornatt Thanittipun, secretary-general of the Office of the Consumer Protection Board, stated that authorities were strictly implementing the Consumer Protection Act and related legislation against people selling vape pens and e-cigarettes. Under the Consumer Protection Act, offenders faced up to three years in prison and/or a 600,000 baht fine.

Under the Customs Act, those who smuggled vape pens and e-cigarettes faced a potential 10-year sentence and/or a fine of four times the value of the items, he said. The seized vape pens and e-cigarettes would be given over to police and destroyed after the court hearings were concluded.

The Vape Shop employees arrested during the raids were all from neighboring nations. Investigators would figure out who hired them, he said.

Meanwhile, Thailand’s Office of the Basic Education Commission (Obec) has said that it will implement rigorous measures, such as personal belongings searches, to combat vaping in schools following a “surge” in the number of children using them.

Rise of Vape Use with Teens

Thee Pawangkanan, Deputy Secretary-General of Obec, stated that the government is concerned that students aged 13 to 15 are increasingly using e-cigarettes. There have also been reports of vape usage among first graders aged six to seven, the youngest smokers.

According to Pawangkanan, concentrate vape pens are designed to resemble cartoon character figures and smell fruity, which may mislead parents, instructors, and students into believing they are safe for consumption. According to health records, vapes can cause significant lung damage.

The official emphasized that Obec is deeply concerned and will seek assistance from the parents in investigating the situation. One of the procedures Obec intends to implement is searches of students’ luggage for vape pens before they enter classrooms to screen for unlawful and unsuitable items, such as e-cigarettes.

Pawangkanan stated that the measures will be implemented in schools beginning May 15, the first day of the new term, to prevent the presence of dangerous and illicit commodities in products. Thailand’s Customs Department detained 211 cigarette and vape pens traffickers who brought THB34.11 million (US$930,000) into the nation between March 1 and April 5.

Source: Bangkok Post, Obec


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