The use of e-cigarettes and vapes on, at least, Phuket’s Patong Beach will be considered the same as smoking cigarettes and included in the recently introduced smoking ban on 20 of Thailand’s most popular beaches. Offenders may incur a fine of up to THB100,000 or even a year in jail, the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR) confirmed yesterday.
Vaping in public is already illegal in Thailand and products related to the practice are not widely available for that reason. However, the law is rarely enforced when citizens use the alternative smoking devices that many purchase abroad.
“Vaping is illegal but, as with regular smokers, people can use their e-cigarettes in the dedicated smoking areas [without breaking the specific beach smoking law],” confirmed Watcharin Thintalang, Director of Phuket’s DMCR.
Watcharin explained that DMCR officials will start charging people for breaching the new law after a 90-day amnesty that ends Feb.1.
Local DMCR officials in Phuket have launched a public-awareness campaign to warn people of the impending ban, which technically came into effect on Nov. 1.
Patong Municipality has already installed smoking areas along the Patong beachfront ahead of the crackdown, which will come in the middle of the tourism high season.
Story: The Phuket News