If you’re going to Thailand soon, it’s best to leave your e-cigarettes at home.
The Foreign Ministry of Thailand issued a travel alert on Thursday the 25th of January to multiple countries embassies, informing foreigners going to Thailand that electronic cigarettes are illegal in the country. The alert followed the news in some overseas press of the detention of an elderly Israeli couple last week for possession of e-cigarettes and a fine of some roughly 20,000 baht (600 USD). They were also threatened with arrest if they could not pay the fine.
Since Friday the 26th, the following alert has been posted on the National Security Council’s travel advisory page: “The Foreign Ministry recommends that foreigners refrain from entering the country [Thailand] with an electronic cigarette. A person found to be breaking the law may be fined, tried and imprisoned.”
The ministry posted links to Thailand’s Embassy in Washington D.C., USA and an article that explained the law. The following is the text from that statement:
“Enjoy your Thailand holiday, but please leave the electronic cigarettes at home. They’re illegal here,” the article reads. “Anyone found breaking this law by using an electronic cigarette – or vaping – in Thailand could be arrested and face jail time, or a fine several times the value of the illegal item(s). This applies both to foreigners and Thais. There have been recent incidents of foreigners who were unaware of the ban facing an on-the-spot fine or being arrested.”
The article quoted a Thai government spokesman saying the ban was “introduced for health reasons and that it was originally suggested because electronic cigarettes were luring young people into smoking.”
Thailand is home to one of the world’s most aggressive anti-smoking ad campaigns.
We here at the Pattaya news have personally interviewed multiple visitors who have been fined and detained for using an e-cigarette in Pattaya. We strongly suggest to not bring them on your holiday or use them in a public place, such as Walking Street or Beach Road.
Source: Foreign Ministry of Thailand