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THAILAND

Minister pushes to legalise e-cigarettes

17 Jan 2022. Digital Economy and Society Minister Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn has said that he is in favour of legalising e-cigarettes and would push the causes, reports the Bangkok Post.

Although critics have questioned e-cigarettes and said that they pose health risks, Mr Chaiwut has said that legalising e-cigarettes would not only provide a safer alternative for those looking to quit smoking cigarettes but would also mean the country could profit from taxes.

According to the Bangkok Post, Mr Chaiwut said he would form a working group to study the matter ahead of a request to the Constitutional Court that would rule on whether banning imports of e-cigarettes violates the rights of the public. He also said that there would be forums and seminars to educate the public on e-cigarettes that have been banned in Thailand since 2014.

On the other hand, Dr Roengrudee Patanavanich, lecturer of the Community Medicine Department at the Faculty of Medicine Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University, cited research from the UK medical journal Thorax that claimed second-hand smoke from e-cigarettes could increase the risk of chronic lung diseases, reports the Bangkok Post.

Dr Prakit Vathesatogkit, president of the Action on Smoking and Health Foundation, also questioned the benefits of e-cigarettes and said legalising them could cause health problems to increase in the future.