Thailand doubles down on vaping enforcement, conducting raids and reminding tourists it is against the law

Bangkok-

Whilst a new vaping and e-cigarette lobby group continue to push the government for a review on laws on vaping and e-cigarette products, the police are notching up more crackdowns on the sales of products related to vaping.

Sixteen Thais and two Burmese men have been arrested in Bangkok for selling e-cigarette devices, nicotine chargers and baraku (hookah) tobacco-smoking products.

Pol Lt-General Surachate Hakparn, in his capacity as deputy chief of the Action Taskforce for Information Technology Crime Suppression, told reporters that the arrests were made at several night markets last night, March 3rd, 2019.

21 shops were found to be selling the illegal e-cigarette devices and shisha pipes and 18 people were arrested.

Police confiscated 81 e-cigarette devices, 1,127 bottles of e-cigarette chemicals and 777 shisha and other illegal items.

The operation followed a February 28 raid on the Klong Thom market in which three Thais and two Lao were arrested for selling the same kind of gear.

Thai officials reminded tourists and locals alike that this remains against the law and fines and enforcement could be very, very high.

The raids are believed by social media users to have been conducted due to the international press caused by a French woman who complained of claims of being deported after refusing to pay what she called a 40,000 baht bribe for being caught vaping in Thailand.  Thai police say the woman was in the wrong and multiple signs and laws as well as embassy warnings state that vaping is against the law and that claiming ignorance of the law is not an excuse.

 

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