Thursday, May 30, 2024

Global Social Disaster: E-cigarette Crisis in Thailand

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According to a report by Matichon on September 27th, Dr. Wannarat Channukul, a member of the Communist Party of Thailand (CPK) in parliament, discussed the issue of e-cigarettes during the 17th House of Representatives session. He stated that e-cigarettes are a new global social disaster. Despite Thailand’s laws prohibiting their import and sales since 2014, smoking remains prevalent, particularly among students and adolescents.

Despite the ban on the importation of e-cigarettes, Thailand has not completely eliminated their entry. According to a survey conducted by the Health Service Support Department of the Ministry of Public Health of Thailand, between April 25, 2023, and June 6, 2023, a significant number of teenagers, 61,688 in total, started using e-cigarettes. What is concerning is that the average age at which they began using these devices is only 12 to 15 years old.

Dr. Wannarat stated that a recent survey conducted by the Anti-Smoking Campaign Foundation has revealed that between July 22 and August 2, 2023, a total of 5,582 parents of students in grades 4 to 6 were polled. The survey findings indicate that 91.5% of respondents showed support for the government’s ban on the importation of e-cigarettes. Furthermore, 91.5% believed that relevant authorities should intensify public awareness campaigns to educate them about the dangers associated with e-cigarettes, while 93.0% believed that stronger measures should be taken to combat the use of e-cigarettes. The World Health Organization has expressed its support for Thailand’s decision to uphold the e-cigarette prohibition.

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