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Thailand’s ban on e-cigarettes upheld by tobacco committee

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Monday’s meeting of the National Tobacco Products Control Committee upheld Thailand’s ban on the import and sale of e-cigarettes (vapes), according to Public Health Ministry permanent secretary Kiattiphum Wongrajit.

Members agreed that Thailand, as a signatory to the World Health Organisation Convention on Tobacco Control, should maintain the ban to prevent cigarette addiction among children, adolescents and non-smoking adults, said Kiattiphum, who chaired the meeting. “The ban will also help protect non-smokers from health hazards caused by e-cigarettes and other tobacco-related products,” he said.

E-cigs were a gateway to traditional cigarettes and contain addictive nicotine,” he added “Moreover, studies show that using e-cigarettes does not help you quit smoking, therefore legalising them would leave Thailand’s tobacco controls lagging and put children and adolescents at risk.”

The committee will forward its resolution to the Cabinet and urge relevant agencies to enforce the law on tobacco control strictly.

E-cigarettes and vaping remain popular in Thailand despite the ban, noted Department of Disease Control chief Opas Karnkawinpong, the committee’s secretary-general.

“In 2021, 78,742 Thais were caught smoking e-cigarettes,” Opas said. Almost a third of these, or 24,050, were youngsters aged between 15and 24, he added.

Published : March 29, 2022

By : THE NATION