Will Thailand Rethink Its Harsh Vape Ban?

Published by Paul Larter on 3rd Dec 2018

The Thailand government has placed a ban on the manufacture, sale, and importation of e-cigarettes and anyone who uses any vaping product in the Southern Asian country is likely to face a jail term. It is no joke at all.

However, the Thai vaping advocacy group ECST, which is a member of the International Network of Nicotine Consumer Organization (INNCO) has called the Thai Office of the Ombudsman to reconsider the ban and review its policy and there are beginning to be some positive results towards that.

This advocacy group particularly stressed that a reasonable regulation of vaping products would stop the bad publicity the ban has generated and the government could benefit from the tax on these products. The case of foreign visitors going into detention for “importing” vapes have brought about the so many tourism-damaging headlines. The vaping restriction put in place by Thailand has even led to an official tourist advisory from the U.K. government.

 Marit Karunyawat, one of the ECST members told Asian Times that regulation can place a minimum age law to the use of vaping products. This will reduce the number of youths that are using these products. Also, the government can restrict advertising of e-cigarettes by making a regulation around the products.

The ministry of commerce is now reviewing the law after the vaping group delivered a petition signed by 40,000 supporters of liberalized vaping regulation.

Since 2014 after the ban of vaping products, the Thai Newspaper has recorded multiple raids and arrest of vape vendors alongside a celebrity vaping arrest. This has earned Thailand the reputation of being one of the harshest anti-vaping authorities in the world.

However, there is a thriving English-language vaping forum in Thailand where the strict laws on vaping products and their enforcement are periodically reviewed.

Aside from the excise taxes the government of Thailand placed on vaping products, they also generate revenue from the production and sales of several brands of cigarettes. The Tobacco Authority of Thailand controls this sale and they generate billions for the state through this commodity.