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.
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.