• April 16, 2024

Activists Urge Thailand to Lift E-cigarette Ban

 Activists Urge Thailand to Lift E-cigarette Ban
Photo: Teo

End Cigarette Smoke Thailand (ECST) is urging Thailand to legalize vaping, citing the U.K. progressive approach to e-cigarettes as an example, reports Thaiger.

In Thailand, the sale and use of e-cigarettes are illegal, creating an unregulated black market and increased access for minors, according to ECST. 

“E-cigarettes are legal in England, allowing its government to impose measures and effectively enforce the regulations to protect minors,” said Asa Saligupta, a representative of the ECST and the Facebook page “What are e-cigarettes?” “The U.K. government is set to allow £45 million [$56.05 million] to reduce the country’s smoking rate and another £3 million for clamping down on shops selling vapes to youths under the age of 18.” 

“The ban [in Thailand] is claimed to protect minors, but the sales and use of e-cigarettes are overt and commonplace. Children can easily access e-cigarettes through online channels without any regulations or inspections,” said Saligupta. 

Following the U.K.’s example could be the solution to Thailand’s e-cigarette policy issues, according to Maris Karanyawat. “The subcommittee for studying factors affecting the health system and monitoring the enforcement of public health laws issued a report, which is based on a comprehensive study and opinions of all groups involved in the e-cigarette issue. The report suggests that Thailand should lift the ban on e-cigarettes so that they can be appropriately controlled through the 2017 Tobacco Products Control Act.” 

In preparation for the upcoming tenth session of the Conference of the Parties to the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, scheduled to take place in Panama in November, Karanyawat said, “We hope that the Thai delegates will take into account the public health committee’s report, which recommends that a tobacco harm reduction approach be developed based on new scientific evidence which shows that e-cigarettes should be controlled differently from combustible cigarettes because they have different harmful effects.”