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A recent survey conducted at the annual Global Forum on Nicotine (GFN) in Warsaw, ranked Thailand as the worst country in the world to be an e-cigarette user in, and Australia the second worst.

Legalizing e-cigarettes would give the millions of local smokers the opportunity to switch to a scientifically proven safer alternative.
In Thailand, a ban on the import, export, sale and possession of vaping products has been in place since November 2014. Anyone caught breaking this law will have their items confiscated and fined or sent to prison for up to 10 years if convicted.

 

“Thailand has a draconian approach with tourists as well as local people regularly getting arrested for vaping. Police often search vehicles at roadblocks for e-cigarettes and then use them to extract fines. This is not just terrible for Thai smokers who want to quit but also makes it a country to avoid for the tens of millions of tourists and business people around the world who vape,” said Asa Ace Saligupta who runs the Ends Cigarette Smoke Thailand consumer group earlier this year.

Calling for reasonable regulations in place of an unreasonable ban

The group is now calling for the ban to be lifted and for reasonable regulations to be put in its place. The ESCT pointed out that legalizing e-cigarettes would be beneficial in multiple ways. Firstly it would equate to more tax revenue for the government, and secondly it would improve Thailand’s image after infamous cases of tourists being fined for vaping.

Most importantly, added the organization, legalizing e-cigarettes would give the millions of local smokers the opportunity to switch to a scientifically proven safer alternative. The ESCT went on to quote reports from this year’s GFN, saying that vaping is significantly safer than smoking.

Read Further: Asia Times

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