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.
“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.