Vaping In Thailand...
With fiery debate happening this past week as far as e-cigarettes and their legality here in Thailand goes, TAT has just reminded tourists that the Kingdom has banned the use of vapes, shishas, and electronic shishas since 2014 for public health reasons and to deter youth smoking. This all comes on the heels of a police officer in Chon Buri incorrectly fining 60,000 Baht (USD $1800) one tourist for having an e-cigarette device, as well as Taiwanese actress Charlene An’s police extortion case raising concerns over the legality of e-cigs and how people can still access them despite a ban.
Here’s a basic summary of what officials had to say…
Visitors are advised not to bring these devices, and it’s on travel agencies to inform clients of the ban
Although e-smoking items are widely available, tourists should be aware of the ban’s enforcement and prohibited outdoor smoking areas, including public parks and beaches
Tourists are encouraged to familiarize themselves with Thailand’s smoking restrictions for a smoke-free and healthy environment
This is a strange one because just about all tourists (that use e-cigarettes that is) are so used to these products being 100% legal in their home country. I could totally see how there would be confusion and frustration for those that arrive in Thailand and want to puff away under the impression that it’s totally cool to do so here. To muddy the waters even further, you have vendors at street corners all over the country selling devices, juice pods, etc. In my eyes, Thailand should probably just legalize and tax this form of nicotine consumption because at the end of the day, it’s everywhere, seems to go largely unpunished, and is already legal in most other countries around the world. Either that, or actually clamp down and ban them properly in the same way that they used to treat cannabis. No point of living in this weird middle zone where there’s all sorts of confusion and an open door for bad actors to take advantage of unsuspecting tourists.