The director of ENDS Cigarette Smoke Thailand (ECST) has asked the Thai government to pass legislation that encourages smokers to switch to less-harmful methods of nicotine consumption, reports The Inquirer.
Asa Saligupta believes that Thailand’s current restrictions on smoking alternatives are pushing these products underground, resulting in an unregulated market that deprives the government of revenues and forces consumers to keep smoking.
Thailand banned on vapes and other electronic nicotine delivery systems in 2014, resulting in the arrest of local vapers and foreign tourists. Saligupta says the measure has discouraged smokers from switching to potentially less harmful innovative products.
According to Saligupta, Thailand should follow the lead of the Philippines, which passed a law that recognizes tobacco harm reduction as a legitimate tool in the campaign against smoking.
Republic Act 11900, or the Vaporized Nicotine and Non-Nicotine Products Regulation Act, became law in 2022. The Vape Law regulates the importation, sale, packaging, distribution, use and communication of vaporized nicotine and non-nicotine products and novel tobacco products such as electronic cigarettes and heated tobacco products.
Thailand’s vaping regulations are among the strictest in Asia.