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Minister exploring legalisation of e-cigs

07 Oct 2021. Thailand’s Digital Economy and Society (DES) Minister is looking into ways to legalise the sale of e-cigarettes despite criticism from health activists, reports The Bangkok Post.

E-cigarettes are still banned in Thailand but DES Minister Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn is now exploring ways to join the ranks of more than 67 countries that have approved e-cigarettes as a less harmful alternative to combustible cigarettes, reports The Bangkok Post. Thanakamanusorn believes vaping could be a great help for anyone struggling to quit smoking and sees a huge benefit in turning tobacco grown in Thailand into e-cigarette products. According to the DES Minister, this would not only benefit the Tobacco Authority of Thailand but also tobacco growers in the country.

The National Alliance for a Tobacco-Free Thailand (NATFT) however, is opposed to legalising e-cigarettes with chairwoman Dr Somsri Pausawasdi saying, "Various elements of society, both government and non-government, have been working hard to reduce the number of smokers, so legalising e-cigarettes will only exacerbate the situation."

“E-cigarettes are not safer choices for people who want to quit smoking while knowledge about their long-term effects on health remains limited for now”, said Prof Dr Ronnachai Kongsakon, director of Tobacco Control Research and Knowledge Management Center (TRC).