Thailand’s government has no plan to overturn its ban on e-cigarettes and vaping, according to comments made by the country’s public health minister.
Speaking on Monday, (Aug 29), Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul reaffirmed the ban on the import and use of e-cigarettes.
Mr Anutin said that e-cigarettes pose significant health risks to users and that vaping was helping to create new smokers particularly among young people in Thailand.
According to a survey conducted by the National Statistical Office in 2021, more than half of the 80,000 e-cigarette smokers in Thailand were found to be aged between 15 and 24 years old.
Mr Anutin said the data showed that vaping has helped to create new smokers in Thailand, especially amongst younger people.
He also said that studies from other countries had found that smoking e-cigarettes can have a harmful effect on the development of young people’s brains.
Mr Anutin said that the only effective way to control vaping was to continue with the ban on e-cigarettes.
While it may not be uncommon to see people vaping in Thailand, it is technically breaking the law as possession is illegal.
The ban on vaping and e-cigarettes in Thailand has actually been in place since 2014.
Anyone caught vaping is likely to have their e-cigarette confiscated and would be subject to a fine.
Under the current law, the most a person could be fined is up to 30,000 baht and/or face a prison sentence of up to 10 years.
For tourists traveling to Thailand, it is important they are familiar with the laws regarding vaping and e-cigarettes.
The websites of Thai embassies and consulates around the world now clearly display information about the prohibition of e-cigarettes in Thailand.
Meanwhile, the websites of foreign governments now also advise travellers not to take e-cigarettes to Thailand.
For British nationals, the Foreign Office clearly advises travelers not to bring vapes and e-cigarettes to Thailand.
The Foreign Office website reads: “These items are likely to be confiscated and you could be fined or sent to prison for up to 10 years if convicted.
“The sale or supply of e-cigarettes and similar devices is also banned and you could face a heavy fine or up to five years imprisonment if found guilty. Several British Nationals have been arrested for possession of vaporisers and e-cigarettes.”