Thailand Voted Worst Place For Vapers

THAILAND has been ranked as the worst place in the world for vapers.

Holidaymakers to the country have been warned that flouting its draconian laws which ban the import, export, sale and possession of e-cigarettes could see them end up with big fines or even jail time.

Australia has been ranked the second worst at this year’s Global Forum on Nicotine which saw 500 delegates from 60 countries vote, while India came in third.

Members of the International Network of Nicotine Consumer Organizations were each allowed to nominate up to five countries in the worst category and five in the best from a list of the world’s 100 most populated countries.

From 36 members, an overwhelming 33 nominated Thailand as having the most unreasonable vaping regulations while 18 nominated Australia and 16 chose India.

In Thailand, the strict vaping rules have been in place since November 2014.

Anyone found breaking the law will have their items confiscated as well as face a hefty fine or a prison sentence of up to 10 years if convicted.

Last December two young adults in Pathum Thani made the headlines for being arrested and then jailed for selling vaping products via Facebook. It sparked a petition urging law makers to review the ban whilst referring to regulations across Europe where e-cigarettes are legal. Many vaping tourists are also known to fall foul of the law at police roadblocks where the officers search vehicles for e-cigarettes and issue easy on-the-spot fines.

Asa Ace Saligupta, who runs the End Cigarette Smoke Thailand consumer group, said: “Thailand has a draconian approach with tourists as well as local people regularly getting arrested for vaping. Police often search vehicles at roadblocks for e-cigarettes and then use them to extract fines.

“This is not just terrible for Thai smokers who want to quit but also makes it a country to avoid for the tens of millions of tourists and business people around the world who vape.”

Meanwhile, the UK was voted the most progressive for its vaping regulations with 32 nominations, followed by Germany with 25 and France with 23.

As well as Public Health England declaring in a report earlier this year that vaping is 95 per cent safer than smoking, the UK’s pharmacy minister Steve Brine, had said that he would consider using cigarette packets to promote e-cigarettes to help more smokers in the country give up.

Prof. Gerry Stimson of the UK charity New Nicotine Alliance said: “The United Kingdom government has had the most remarkable change of heart on vaping. Four years ago, it was trying to ban all e-cigarettes on the market. Today, the UK has three million vapers – and this is accelerating the decline in smoking among the British.”

CEO of Public Health England Duncan Selbie said: “It’s now hard to believe that back in 1974 almost half of adults smoked. But now an end really is in sight and we have a real opportunity to virtually eliminate all the harm, misery and death caused by smoking.”

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Thailand e-cigarette ban would remain unchanged

The Thailand Prime Minister announced that the ban on e-cigarettes would remain unchanged.

Since 2014, Thailand has regulated electronic cigarettes as legal contraband. It is illegal to hold, use, import, export and sell electronic cigarettes. Once captured, the criminal must face severe legal sanctions, which lead many users of electronic cigarettes to be afraid of Thailand.

Thailand e-cigarette ban
The Task Force led by the Ministry of Commerce of Thailand has designated the Tobacco Control Research and Knowledge Management Centre (TRC) to conduct research to address legal obstacles affecting the implementation of the electronic tobacco ban. At the same time, the head of Thailand’s consumption tax department also said that if the Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Health could reach an agreement on importing e-cigarette goods, the consumption tax department would be open and taxed on the use of e-cigarettes and handle on other matters.

But the problem is that the Ministry of Commerce hasn’t melted the iceberg of the Ministry of Health from the latest developments of the Thai government, and the Prime Minister of Thailand has recently said that electronic cigarettes are illegal products. That is to say, Thailand has been wavering in the regulation of electronic cigarettes, from the early vigorous opposition, to the news that it may be legitimate, and until recently the Prime Minister of Thailand said that it is still prohibited, it seems that there is still a long way to go for the legitimacy of electronic cigarettes in Thailand

Thailand e-cigarette ban

Cigarette Control Center still misunderstands electronic cigarette

According to Thai headline news reports, on August 19, the Thai vape policy promotion conference was held at The Sukosol Hotel in Bangkok. Thai Center for Tobacco Control Director Lunachai said at the meeting: The Center is part of the Ministry of Commerce’s Feasibility Analysis Committee on Promoting E-cigarette Import Policy.

In order to protect the health of the nation and keep young people away from the hazards of electronic cigarettes, experts, scholars, lawyers and staff of the Department of Disease Control of the Ministry of Health have unanimously recommended that the ban on the import of electronic cigarettes be maintained.

“Electronic cigarette is a kind of cigarette smoking through vaporized liquid, 95% of electronic cigarettes on the market contain nicotine.” Ms. Napala, a physician at Lamatibdi Hospital, said at the meeting that e-cigarettes may make people addicted to nicotine. Even if some people want to use e-cigarettes to get away from traditional cigarettes, relevant data show that only 5% to 9% of people successfully quit smoking with the help of e-cigarettes.

Ms. Napala also pointed out that nicotine was more addictive than heroin because smokers could add 3 to 10 times more nicotine to vapes than regular cigarettes. Excessive nicotine can lead to rapid heart rate, high blood pressure, cerebral vasoconstriction and, in severe cases, stroke.

“Among adolescents who continue to use e-cigarettes, they are more likely to become addicted to traditional cigarettes than adolescents who have never used e-cigarettes. That is to say, if you smoke electronic cigarettes, it will be more difficult to quit smoking! In addition, in animal experiments, the smoke of electronic smoke proved to cause lung lesions, and then suffer from lung diseases such as chronic pulmonary obstruction.

“Those who smoke electronic cigarettes are setting a bad example for the next generation.” Ms. Napala said.” Especially parents who smoke at home, or social idols who have smoke habits, can imperceptibly influence adolescents to follow suit,”

Thailand’s Prime Minister has a tough attitude to vapes

On August 20, Thailand officially issued a new version of the Domestic Violence Act, that is, smoking at home in the future can be regarded as home violence against family members. Of course, electronic cigarettes are no exception.

Thai authorities say that e-cigarettes also contain nicotine. Smoking at home can cause physical and mental harm to family members, such as:

1. Weakening family relations, keeping wives and children away, and affecting children’s growth;

2. When not smoking, the temper is short-tempered and easy to produce home violence.

3. Second hand and three hand smoke affect family health.

In response, Thai courts issued mandatory orders to isolate smokers from victims and provide smokers with smoking cessation assistance.

Thailand banned the import, sale and possession of electronic cigarettes in 2014. Violators will be punished according to the notification order of the Ministry of Commerce. Carry and use electronic cigarettes will be sentenced to up to five years’imprisonment or a fine of not more than 500,000 baht (about 100,000 RMB) or both; if there is import, export and sales, the maximum sentence of 10 years or a fine of not more than 1 million baht (about 200,000 RMB), or both.

Thailand’s Prime Minister, General Bayu, also said on August 20 when the new law was promulgated that Thailand’s ban on electronic cigarettes should be maintained. “Currently, according to the original law, electronic cigarettes are classified as illegal goods, and import, sale and possession are prohibited.”

According to the Bangkok Post, Philip Morris International (PMI) is lobbying the Thai government to lift the ban on alternatives to smoking, such as electronic cigarettes and heat not burn products.

According to Gerald Margolis, general manager of PMI Thailand, the company has met with the Ministry of Commerce and the Consumer Tax Department and published a lot of scientific research on the health advantages of smokeless alternatives in the Ministry of Public Health.

General Bayu’s explanation, however, is that “some people want these valuable black market products to be legalized.” He went on to add, “The government can’t simply consider the economic impact of making a decision on this issue. Electronic cigarettes will also affect people’s health and increase the burden of health care.

PMI also responded that it would continue to lobby with the new government, expecting the government to shift to the sale of smokeless products “as soon as possible”.

Thailand e-cigarette ban

Research data ignored by the Thai authorities

From the response of the Prime Minister of Thailand and the regulatory position of the tobacco control center, the Thai government is still very tough. Although it is necessary and must for regulators to strictly review vape products, the tobacco control center does not seem to take positive research information into account.

Dr. Michael Siegel, a public health expert, has published research findings on e-cig in social media. In a relatively small and airless vape store, many employees and 13 customers frequently “smoke” and generate a large amount of smoke to fill the space. Create an “extreme environment” that is highly exposed to vapors.

After detection and analysis, even in the small unventilated space, more than ten people continuously use electronic cigarette, which fills the whole space. The results of the detection report still show that no toxic and harmful substances have been detected to reach the dangerous level.

PMI lobbies Thailand to lift the ban on new tobacco products

According to the Bangkok Post, Philip Morris International (PMI) is lobbying the Thai government to lift the ban on alternatives to smoking, such as electronic cigarettes and HNB tobacco products.

According to Gerald Margolis, general manager of Phillip Morris Thailand, the company has met with the Ministry of Commerce and the Consumer Tax Department and published a lot of scientific research on the health advantages of smoke-free alternatives in the Ministry of Public Health.

PMI lobbies Thailand

“We will continue to provide factual, non-ideological research and results from other countries and governments,” Margolis said. “It would be foolish to regulate electric vehicles without consulting automakers, so there should be a dialogue with the tobacco industry in the formulation of tobacco regulation.”

As of 2017, Thailand had 10.7 million smokers (19.1% of the country). Despite various anti-smoking laws, the number of smokers has declined by only 4% in the past 13 years, or 0.3% annually. Thailand is one of the most restrictive cigarette markets, banning marketing and in-store display, and plans to introduce generic non-brand packaging by the end of the year.

The Thai Authorities are Considering Legalizing E-cigarette Imports

The Thai authorities are considering legalizing e-cigarette imports, but companies have to pay a higher tariff

According to the report of the China Daily of Thailand on October 03, the Thai authorities are considering legalizing the import of e-cigarettes, but companies have to pay a higher tariff.

According to sources from the Thai Ministry of Commerce, recently, they will discuss with the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Tourism and Sports whether the e-cigarette import ban should be lifted. Officials said that they have received petitions from multiple parties (law enforcement and business circles) to legalize the import of e-cigarettes.The Thai Authorities are Considering Legalizing E-cigarette Imports

Thailand debates possible legalization of vapes, shisha, e-cigarettes

Many problems have been discovered from the actual implementation of the regulations. Regardless of the illegal import and smuggling problems, there are also cases in which the law enforcement process is difficult to control. The other is whether the impact of e-cigarettes on physical health is higher than that of ordinary cigarettes, and there is no strong evidence and research evidence.

The initial solution is to cancel the e-cigarette import ban and switch to a relatively high tariff rate. Because the ban does not keep e-cigarettes out of the country, it can be easily bought even in the ordinary market or on the online shopping platform. In other words, is it more manipulative to liberalize import restrictions and effectively regulate tariffs?

Officials believe that the primary problem that the parties discuss at present is to be able to prove that the e-cigarette hazard is not as large as ordinary cigarettes. There is a big difference in the focus of disputes on who is more harmful. Cigarette companies believe that e-cigarettes will produce more harmful substances after burning, and thus are more harmful to human health. In contrast, e-cigarette supporters believe that smoking e-cigarettes is safer than regular cigarettes. But in any case, it is necessary to establish a correct cognitive feeling that smoking is harmful.


Throughout the world, governments have different attitudes toward e-cigarettes. The number of countries in the same camp is about 30, accounting for about 15% of the world. In other words, most countries still have relatively loose regulations on e-cigarettes.

For the Department of Commerce, as long as there is sufficient evidence to prove that e-cigarettes are less harmful than traditional cigarettes, it will not be difficult for the Ministry of Commerce to lift the ban.

In addition, the cabinet adopted a decision to raise the cigarette tax on the 2nd regular meeting. That is, for every cigarette sold, the tobacco company needs to pay 2% of the tax to the social security fund.

Note: The content comes from Taihua net is for reference only.