Press release: Thailand’s Health Minister won’t stop legalization of vaping


“Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul may not support the legalization of e-cigarettes, but most politicians and the public do, with legal vape sales only months away,” says Asa Saligupta, Director of ECST (ENDS Cigarette Smoke Thailand).

Mr. Saligupta’s comments follow the Public Health Minister publicly claiming his Ministry will not support legalization during a meeting with the Thai Health Promotion Foundation (ThaiHealth).

With draft legislation before a sub-committee, the ECST Director remains confident that the vaping bill will be passed by Thailand’s parliament this year.

“The Thai Government can and will regulate safer nicotine products regardless of what one Minister says. Let’s not forget that Digital Economy and Society Minister Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn, government officials, and public health experts have all been key to finally confronting Thailand’s failed tobacco control policies,” he says.

Mr. Saligupta says Thailand’s harsh ban and penalties on vape imports and sales have failed.

“Smoking continues to kill about 50,000 Thai people each and every year. Too many smokers have been stuck with cigarettes or are forced onto the black market for vapes where there’s no control over the purchase age or product safety standards. An effective Public Health Minister would not accept this dire situation, let alone support it,” he says.

ECST believes it’s no surprise the Minister made his anti-vaping statement to ThaiHealth board members. Its senior adviser Dr. Prakit Vathesatogkit was recently awarded the Dr. Lee Jong-wook Memorial Prize by the World Health Organization (WHO) for his work against tobacco. He has also been a high-profile voice against legalizing vaping.

“ThaiHealth along with some local conservative health voices continue to publicly scaremonger, conveniently ignoring the growing Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR) success globally. By joining the minority, Thailand’s Public Health Minister is now among an increasingly isolated crowd who continue to follow the WHO’s discredited anti-vape agenda,” he says.

Mr. Saligupta says ignoring the WHO, nearly 70 countries have now adopted regulatory frameworks on safer nicotine products, leading to dramatic declines in their overall smoking rates. The Philippines and Malaysia are also set to legalize vaping.

“Thankfully the Thai Government remains on the right side of the debate. Regulating will give consumers better protection, encourage more smokers to quit deadly cigarettes, and ensure we have much better control over youth vaping with a strict purchase age,” he says.

ECST says THR experts and advocates from around the world have been alarmed at Mr. Charnvirakul’s latest comments.

In recent months applause and accolades have come from around the world as Thai politicians and officials have committed to following significant international public health evidence and best practice.

“As someone who has been living and breathing this legalization journey over several years, I can assure everyone there is nothing to see here. Thailand’s sky-high smoking rate is set to be finally addressed with legal vape sales and product regulation now imminent,” says Mr. Saligupta.

ECST is a member of CAPHRA (Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates).

A global collaboration of THR consumer groups, sCOPe, has launched a comprehensive library of online panel discussions and presentations. To access sCOPe’s online library visit

For a free digital media repository on tobacco harm reduction in the Asia Pacific – including media releases, images, and graphics – please visit


The Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Advocates (CAPHRA) is a regional alliance of consumer tobacco harm reduction advocacy organizations. Its mission is to educate, advocate and represent the right of adult alternative nicotine consumers to access and use products that reduce harm from tobacco use.

The preceding is a press release published with full permission and authorization by the organization(s) listed in the PR material and TPN media. The statements, thoughts, and opinions of the organization involved in the press release are entirely their own and may not necessarily represent those of TPN media and its staff.

Adam Judd
Mr. Adam Judd is the Co-owner of TPN Media since December 2017. He is originally from Washington D.C., America, but has also lived in Dallas, Sarasota, and Portsmouth. His background is in retail sales, HR, and operations management, and has written about news and Thailand for many years. He has lived in Pattaya for over nine years as a full-time resident, is well known locally and been visiting the country as a regular visitor for over a decade. His full contact information, including office contact information, can be found on our Contact Us page below. Stories please e-mail About Us: Contact Us: