British travel agents are being urged to warn customers about a Thai law that prohibits e-cigarettes being brought into the country, the Travelweekly website has reported.
The UK website quoted Pat Waterton, manager at Langley Travel, who said she was unaware of the ban until her nephew, James, paid a £125 (Bt5,400) “fine” after being threatened with jail for having an e-cigarette in Bangkok,
Travelweekly said advice on the UK Foreign Office website includes a paragraph stating: “These items are likely to be confiscated and you could be fined or sent to prison for up to 10 years if convicted.”
Waterton told the UK website: “I got a message from my sister saying James had been arrested in Thailand because he had an e-cigarette. He managed to pay the policeman, who had told him he could go to jail. Ten years seems a long time to go to prison for smoking an e-cigarette.”
A spokesman for the Tourism Authority of Thailand reiterated the UK government’s advice, warning tourists not to bring e-cigarettes into the country.
Waterton told Travelweekly: “If I’m selling [travel to] Thailand, I will definitely mention it now. All agents should. Thailand is very popular so we should make sure we are telling people about things that could ruin a holiday.”
Other travel agents also told the UK website that they would advise customers of the Thai law. Aspen Travel sales consultant Yvonne Montgomery said: “The last thing we want is our customers getting locked up.”