The Thailand Prime Minister announced that the ban on e-cigarettes would remain unchanged.
Since 2014, Thailand has regulated electronic cigarettes as legal contraband. It is illegal to hold, use, import, export and sell electronic cigarettes. Once captured, the criminal must face severe legal sanctions, which lead many users of electronic cigarettes to be afraid of Thailand.
The Task Force led by the Ministry of Commerce of Thailand has designated the Tobacco Control Research and Knowledge Management Centre (TRC) to conduct research to address legal obstacles affecting the implementation of the electronic tobacco ban. At the same time, the head of Thailand’s consumption tax department also said that if the Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Health could reach an agreement on importing e-cigarette goods, the consumption tax department would be open and taxed on the use of e-cigarettes and handle on other matters.
But the problem is that the Ministry of Commerce hasn’t melted the iceberg of the Ministry of Health from the latest developments of the Thai government, and the Prime Minister of Thailand has recently said that electronic cigarettes are illegal products. That is to say, Thailand has been wavering in the regulation of electronic cigarettes, from the early vigorous opposition, to the news that it may be legitimate, and until recently the Prime Minister of Thailand said that it is still prohibited, it seems that there is still a long way to go for the legitimacy of electronic cigarettes in Thailand…
Cigarette Control Center still misunderstands electronic cigarette
According to Thai headline news reports, on August 19, the Thai vape policy promotion conference was held at The Sukosol Hotel in Bangkok. Thai Center for Tobacco Control Director Lunachai said at the meeting: The Center is part of the Ministry of Commerce’s Feasibility Analysis Committee on Promoting E-cigarette Import Policy.
In order to protect the health of the nation and keep young people away from the hazards of electronic cigarettes, experts, scholars, lawyers and staff of the Department of Disease Control of the Ministry of Health have unanimously recommended that the ban on the import of electronic cigarettes be maintained.
“Electronic cigarette is a kind of cigarette smoking through vaporized liquid, 95% of electronic cigarettes on the market contain nicotine.” Ms. Napala, a physician at Lamatibdi Hospital, said at the meeting that e-cigarettes may make people addicted to nicotine. Even if some people want to use e-cigarettes to get away from traditional cigarettes, relevant data show that only 5% to 9% of people successfully quit smoking with the help of e-cigarettes.
Ms. Napala also pointed out that nicotine was more addictive than heroin because smokers could add 3 to 10 times more nicotine to vapes than regular cigarettes. Excessive nicotine can lead to rapid heart rate, high blood pressure, cerebral vasoconstriction and, in severe cases, stroke.
“Among adolescents who continue to use e-cigarettes, they are more likely to become addicted to traditional cigarettes than adolescents who have never used e-cigarettes. That is to say, if you smoke electronic cigarettes, it will be more difficult to quit smoking! In addition, in animal experiments, the smoke of electronic smoke proved to cause lung lesions, and then suffer from lung diseases such as chronic pulmonary obstruction.
“Those who smoke electronic cigarettes are setting a bad example for the next generation.” Ms. Napala said.” Especially parents who smoke at home, or social idols who have smoke habits, can imperceptibly influence adolescents to follow suit,”
Thailand’s Prime Minister has a tough attitude to vapes
On August 20, Thailand officially issued a new version of the Domestic Violence Act, that is, smoking at home in the future can be regarded as home violence against family members. Of course, electronic cigarettes are no exception.
Thai authorities say that e-cigarettes also contain nicotine. Smoking at home can cause physical and mental harm to family members, such as:
1. Weakening family relations, keeping wives and children away, and affecting children’s growth;
2. When not smoking, the temper is short-tempered and easy to produce home violence.
3. Second hand and three hand smoke affect family health.
In response, Thai courts issued mandatory orders to isolate smokers from victims and provide smokers with smoking cessation assistance.
Thailand banned the import, sale and possession of electronic cigarettes in 2014. Violators will be punished according to the notification order of the Ministry of Commerce. Carry and use electronic cigarettes will be sentenced to up to five years’imprisonment or a fine of not more than 500,000 baht (about 100,000 RMB) or both; if there is import, export and sales, the maximum sentence of 10 years or a fine of not more than 1 million baht (about 200,000 RMB), or both.
Thailand’s Prime Minister, General Bayu, also said on August 20 when the new law was promulgated that Thailand’s ban on electronic cigarettes should be maintained. “Currently, according to the original law, electronic cigarettes are classified as illegal goods, and import, sale and possession are prohibited.”
According to the Bangkok Post, Philip Morris International (PMI) is lobbying the Thai government to lift the ban on alternatives to smoking, such as electronic cigarettes and heat not burn products.
According to Gerald Margolis, general manager of PMI Thailand, the company has met with the Ministry of Commerce and the Consumer Tax Department and published a lot of scientific research on the health advantages of smokeless alternatives in the Ministry of Public Health.
General Bayu’s explanation, however, is that “some people want these valuable black market products to be legalized.” He went on to add, “The government can’t simply consider the economic impact of making a decision on this issue. Electronic cigarettes will also affect people’s health and increase the burden of health care.
PMI also responded that it would continue to lobby with the new government, expecting the government to shift to the sale of smokeless products “as soon as possible”.
Research data ignored by the Thai authorities
From the response of the Prime Minister of Thailand and the regulatory position of the tobacco control center, the Thai government is still very tough. Although it is necessary and must for regulators to strictly review vape products, the tobacco control center does not seem to take positive research information into account.
Dr. Michael Siegel, a public health expert, has published research findings on e-cig in social media. In a relatively small and airless vape store, many employees and 13 customers frequently “smoke” and generate a large amount of smoke to fill the space. Create an “extreme environment” that is highly exposed to vapors.
After detection and analysis, even in the small unventilated space, more than ten people continuously use electronic cigarette, which fills the whole space. The results of the detection report still show that no toxic and harmful substances have been detected to reach the dangerous level.