Thailand will not lift ban on vaping, citing health threat

Photo: Bangkok Hospital
Photo: Bangkok Hospital

Importing and selling e-cigarettes will remain illegal – despite their pervasive use – after the health ministry yesterday advised against lifting the ban.

The continued ban on all types of electronic cigarettes used for vaping will “help protect non-smokers from health hazards,” Health Ministry Perm-Sec Kiattipoom Wongrachit said yesterday at a meeting of the government’s tobacco board.

Kiattipoom added that it was necessary to deter young smokers.

“The ban on the sale of e-cigarettes is an important measure to protect children from victimization,” he said.

The committee went a step further and submitted a resolution to the cabinet urging stricter regulation of tobacco use.

Despite being illegal, many smokers continue to vape in public, and commercial products are widely available online and in specialized shops due to lax enforcement.

A quick search yields numerous Thai vaping websites selling all sorts of equipment.

While some estimates have placed e-cigarette smokers at around 2 million, the Thai Health Promotion Foundation last year cited government statistics that it was fewer than 80,000.

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