Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul insisted that Thailand’s Public Health Ministry will not support legalizing electronic cigarettes in the country.
He made his remark on Monday during a meeting with board members of the Thai Health Promotion Foundation (ThaiHealth) to discuss tobacco control.
Anutin, in his capacity as chairman of the ThaiHealth board, said he has noticed e-cigarettes trending among teenagers and some of them are aiming to have sales legalized.
To help boost e-cigarette control, Anutin said he has assigned a tobacco control panel under the Department of Disease Control (DDC) to review current regulations to determine whether they should be revised or new rules should be issued.
However, current laws can still suppress the rise of e-cigarettes, he said.
“The DDC has also been instructed to coordinate with police to come up with a solution in preventing e-cigarettes from becoming more popular in the future,” he said.
Dr Surachet Satitniramai, second deputy chairman of ThaiHealth, said that currently, many business operators are attempting to legalize the import of e-cigarettes to the country, which is a topic of concern among members of the committee.
“E-cigarettes will have a widespread effect on tobacco farmers in the country,” he said. “As the materials of e-cigarettes don’t consist of tobacco but chemical, farmers will suffer income loss.”