10 Years in Prison? Tourists Should Leave E-Cigarettes Behind Before Visiting Thailand

E-cigarette | © Vaping360/Flickr
E-cigarette | © Vaping360/Flickr
Photo of Iona Proebst
4 October 2017

What’s all the recent fuss about e-cigarettes? You might just want to pay attention to this little fact so your habit doesn’t land you in deep trouble when visiting the Land of Smiles.

Vaping has become very popular in many countries around the world; some would argue for good reason, as a Public Health England (PHE) expert independent review concluded that e-cigarettes are at least 95% safer than conventional cigarettes.

E- cigarette starter kit | © Ecig Click/Flickr

However, recently the media has been warning tourists that bringing their ‘vape gear’ to Thailand could land them a hefty fine and or up to a 10-years imprisonment! Thailand has been under military rule since 2014, and there are strict laws in place governing aspects of everyday life that travellers may not always be aware of. Specialists say the restriction on vaping – introduced in 2014 and encompassing the buying, selling and owning e-cigarettes and equipment – has been one of these little-known laws. More recently, an existing law concerning taxable items coming into the country with any tax unpaid, restricted, or prohibited goods is being used as a means to crack down on e-cigarette users and vendors. In Thailand, the vaping culture once existed via underground Facebook groups and select market sellers that were selling equipment and ‘juice’. However, these unofficial outlets have been forced to close and penalties have been imposed.

Prison fence

In light of the above, it is highly advisable that if travelling to this part of the world, you leave your vape equipment at home, taking the opportunity to finally kick the nicotine habit. Travel agents are also advising their clients not to bring e-cigarettes into the country, as being stopped at immigration is never a great start to what should be a fantastic holiday in Thailand.

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