Thailand’s DES minister supports legalisation of e-cigarettes

Digital Economy and Society Minister Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn said on Thursday that it is about time that Thailand amended the law to legalise electronic cigarettes, as the device is a way of life for many people in developed countries.

Following the police recent extortion scandals involving e-cigarettes, he said that people in Thailand have started to question why cannabis can be openly sold legally, but not e-cigarettes.

He also pointed out that e-cigarettes are offered for sale on social media and by street vendors with impunity, adding that the devices are legal in Malaysia, Singapore and many other developed countries.

Because the Thai law has not yet changed, e-cigarettes are smuggled into the country and offered for sale online and offline, giving rise to opportunities for corrupt police to demand bribes or to distort money from the public, said Chaiwut.

“The key issue is to legalise (e-cigarettes), if we believe that this is the way of life and a freedom and it is accepted by the majority, then we should do it,” said the DES minister, adding that making e-cigarettes legal will also help generate tax revenue for the state.

He also said that, if the Palang Pracharath Party forms the government after the election, he will push for the legalisation of e-cigarettes.


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