Thai Public Health Minister Says It is ‘Impossible’ to Legalize E-Cigarettes, Promises Further Crackdown

PHOTO: Matichon

National —

Thai Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul reiterated his stance on banning all forms of e-cigarettes, including selling and importing the products into the country.

Anutin told a meeting of the National Confederation of Networks for Thai Smoke-Free Society yesterday, February 23rd, that it is alarming that more people, especially youngsters, turned to smoking electronic cigarettes nowadays due to a misconception that the device cannot cause cancer or is harmless for health.

This is totally not true, Anutin said, citing the World Health Organization’s study which according to them confirms that e-cigarettes are indeed harmful.

He also mentioned a survey conducted by the National Statistical Office of Thailand in 2021 which reveals that more than half of about 80,000 e-cigarette smokers in Thailand were teenagers and young adults aged between 15 and 24.

Moreover, the minister went on to say that currently there are political efforts even within the Cabinet to push for the amendment of the laws to legalize vaping devices. In response to these calls, Anutin said his Public Health Ministry will not comply, stating it is impossible.

He continued that he is ready to take action to put an end to the legal loopholes that enable people to sell and import e-cigarettes into the kingdom, hinting his ministry is working on a regulation that will prohibit the sale and import of all types of vaping devices for good.

“Although it is easy to buy e-cigarettes nowadays, people still cannot buy them from convenience stores, which means the current laws are still respected to some extent,” the minister stated.

Meanwhile, Thai Police yesterday announced the seizure of e-cigs and trademark-infringing products worth over 150 million baht.

At the Thai Customs Department, Thai Police declared they had impounded a large quantity of e-cigarette liquids and vaping accessories, as well as branded products such as bags, clothing, carpets, shoes, and perfumes from several sites across Thailand.

The confiscated items were valued at 150 million baht in total. Most of them were illegally imported.

The police said all seized items will be destroyed by a bulldozer at a location in Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya province on February 24th.

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Aim Tanakorn
The local news translator at The Pattaya News. Aim is a twenty-four year old who currently lives in Bangkok. Interested in English translation, story-telling, and entrepreneurship, he believes that hard-working is an indispensable component of every success in this world.