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Thailand’s Prime Minister Plans to Keep Ban on Vaping and E-Cigarettes

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Phillip Morris International is actively lobbying the Thai government to reverse a ban on smoking alternatives like e-cigarettes.

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BANGKOK – Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has vowed to retain Thailand’s ban on e-cigarettes.

Insisting the new government will not yield to lobbying from an interest groups.

Phillip Morris International is actively lobbying the Thai government to reverse a ban on smoking alternatives like e-cigarettes.

“Someone wants these black-market products, which have a substantial value, to be legalized,” Gen Prayut said.

“Making decisions on this matter, the government cannot simply consider the economic impact. “e-cigarettes will also impact people’s health and an extra burden on health-care,” he added.

The Public Health Ministry should work harder to educate the public on the health effects of vaping. While officials should crack down further on the illegal sale of e-cigarettes, he said.

Phillip Morris the manufacturer of Marlboro cigarettes said it will continue lobbying efforts with the new government.

Phillip Morris wants to switch to selling smoke-free products exclusively “as soon as possible”. Although the company has no timeline for the transition to e-cigarettes.

E-cigarettes have been banned since 2014

Thailand in 2014 banned the import, sale and servicing of e-cigarettes, with violators facing punishment based on notifications from the Commerce Ministry as well as orders from the Consumer Protection Board.

Getting caught with a vape in Thailand can result in a fine of up to 30 000 Baht or even a jail sentence of up to 10 years.  Thailand vaping ban applies to both vaper’s and e-cigarettes.

Travellers coming to Thailand should be aware that electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes are illegal in the kingdom.

Anyone found breaking this law by using an electronic cigarette (or vaping) in Thailand could be arrested and face jail time, or a fine several times the value of the illegal item(s). This applies both to foreigners and Thais.

There have been recent incidents of foreign travellers who were unaware of the ban facing an on-the-spot fine or being arrested.

The ban was introduced in 2014 by the Thai Government for health reasons and that electronic cigarettes were luring young people into smoking.

Thus, travellers coming to Thailand are advised not to bring any electronic cigarettes with them, nor any item or equipment associated with e-cigarettes; such as, the liquid used in the device.

Likewise, travel agents or tour operators selling Thailand as a destination should make sure their clients are aware of the ban in place on electronic cigarettes.

Travellers coming to Thailand should be aware that electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes are illegal in the kingdom.

Anyone found breaking this law by using an electronic cigarette or vaping in Thailand. Could be arrested and face jail time, or a fine several times the value of the illegal item(s). This applies both to foreigners and Thais.