End Cigarette Smoke Thailand (ECST) wants Thailand to legalize vapor products to enable smokers to legally switch to less harmful nicotine products, according to an article in The Bangkok Post.
Despite a seven-year old ban on e-cigarettes, the number of vapers has steadily increased in Thailand, according to the ECST. While the National Statistical Office estimates there are 78,742 vapers in the country, ECST representative Maris Kranyawath believes there are almost a million, based on the number of people following social media pages that sell vape products.
Maris said legalizing vapor products would allow state agencies to set product standards. “Thailand has had a ban on vaping for seven years, but the number of vapers has continued to increase despite it,” said Maris. “This means the policy has not been effective. If vape products were legal, they could be examined and standardized by state agencies.”
To protect young people, the ECST has proposed regulations to ban minors from buying and using vape products. “A salesperson must provide vape products that are appropriate for each user,” said Maris. “Moreover, each vaper should register for a vape card at a district office first. When a vaper purchases products, he/she must show the card. Also, vape stores must have a machine to scan cards to identify the customer who has a daily limit of no more than 200ml of e-liquid per day.”
The push for permitting vapor products has been gaining momentum in Thailand. Recently, Digital Economy and Society Minister Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn said he would explore ways to legalize the sale of e-cigarettes, citing their comparatively low health risk and the impact of black market sales on tax revenues.