E-cigarette regulation in Thailand is extreme and has been since 2014. A strict ban on importing and exporting is in place. as well as selling and possessing vaping products. Experts warned that people, including tourists, caught vaping or selling vaping products could face hefty fines. Even a lengthy prison sentence of up to 10 years.
The country’s Public Health Ministry is remaining stubborn on the ban. Despite growing evidence which states that e-cigarettes are safer than smoking. The deputy director-general of the Public Health Ministry’s Disease Control Department, Dr Assadang Ruay-archin has claimed that e-cigarettes are as bad for your health as cigarettes due to the nicotine content.
UK vaping evidence dismissed
The deputy director-general is aware of the evidence from the UK. In particular, PHE’s ‘vaping is at least 95% safer than smoking’ study. Yet he believes it should be dismissed. All because it is not recognised by the World Health Organisation. It is worth noting that the regulation on traditional cigarettes is much more lenient than that on e-cigarettes. This makes little sense to local vapers.
A few weeks ago, a couple of young adults were arrested in Thailand for selling vaping products via Facebook. The news sparked Thai vapers to speak out about the irrationality of the laws. Focussing on the vast contrast between Thailand’s regulations and those seen in the UK.
Unfortunately, it’s not only Thailand that employs draconian e-cigarette regulations. Generally, the views on vaping in Asia are much more sceptical than those seen in Western culture. Taiwan could be the next country to enforce a total vape ban. India also has a strict policy. With a ban in some Indian States and the possibility of a national ban in the future.
While encouraging to see positive evidence on vaping in the UK, the lack of global cohesion is worrying. Many experts now believe that the UK leads the way in its approach to e-cigarettes. But will other countries follow suit?