Tobacco control activists have expressed concern about the number of young people smoking e-cigarettes in Thailand, reports The Bangkok Post. While e-cigarettes are illegal in Thailand, they remain readily available across the country.
According to a health survey conducted in 2019 and 2020, 5.3 percent of Thais aged 10 to 19 have tried vaping, and 2.9 percent do so regularly. Around 30 percent of people in this age bracket who smoke e-cigarettes are women, the study showed.
Patcharapan Prajuablap, secretary-general of the Thailand Youth Institute, attributed the popularity of vaping in part to the fact that it is considered safer and more trendy than smoking cigarettes, especially among high school students.
Over the past year, Thai lawmakers have mulled legalizing e-cigarettes to offer smokers a less harmful method of nicotine consumption and to tap a new source of tax revenue.
Alarmed by the underage vaping numbers, Roengrudee Patanavanich, a lecturer at the Faculty of Medicine at Ramathibodi Hospital, urged the government to keep e-cigarettes illegal.