30 Jun Vaping In Thailand – What You Need To Know
Thailand is one of the most popular tourist destinations with those looking for an affordable vacation in the sun with plenty of exotic appeal and cultural experiences. Many of the country’s most popular destinations are known for their Bohemian lifestyle and laid-back attitude, so it may well have come as a surprise to discover that recently many tourists have been arrested for simply possessing an e-cig.
Although there has been a vaping ban in Thailand since 2014, the message seems to have been hazy around whether or not vaping was something that visitors to the country could get away with. Yet in recent times there seems to have been a major increase in the number of people from overseas who were unaware of the situation and who are now facing fines or even imprisonment for owning vaping equipment or for vaping in public.
No Law Banning E-Cigs
The confusion appears to have arisen since there is no actual law which bans the possession of e-cigarettes in Thailand. However, there is a law which states that possessing any goods which have not been taxed is punishable by a fine, imprisonment or both. As e-cigarettes fall into this category in means that, in practice, anyone having either a vaping device or an e-liquid in their possession while in the country has fallen foul of the law.
Turning A Blind Eye
One of the other causes of confusion regarding vaping in Thailand is that the police have long had a reputation of turning a blind eye, especially since, despite the ban, vaping paraphernalia is still widely available for purchase in the country. Not only that, but the sight of both locals and tourists alike vaping on the streets is very common. A quick internet search will even turn up pages of suggestions of places where you can easily buy what you need. The problem appears to be that some policeman do not have such a relaxed approach, and should you encounter one of them, you could find that your dream vacation becomes a nightmare.
10 Years In Jail
Although this law has been in place for years, recent events have brought it back into the spotlight since a UK travel agent’s nephew was caught vaping by a policeman while in Bangkok and was faced with a choice of prison or a fine. This is not the only recent incident to involve the police cracking down on vaping tourists. A man from Switzerland is currently awaiting trial in Thailand, having been arrested and charged with importing e-cigs to vape in public. He could either be deported or be imprisoned for up to 5 years.
Advising Visitors From Overseas
Travel agents sell many vacations to Thailand every year, and many more people arrange travel to the country independently. Travelers are now being advised to thoroughly check the legislation regarding vaping and the importation of e-cigs and e-liquids before booking their travel, and agents are now vowing to advise holidaymakers to avoid taking any of their gear on holiday with them.