Vaping and e-cigarettes are not allowed in Thailand however, per usual as with other things in Thailand there are mixed signals about this subject. For instance, you are able to get e-liquid to vape and the e-cigarettes that contain the liquid therein but If you look online and try to find info on the subject of vaping, people are definitely confused. “Are we allowed to Vape in Bangkok?”. Some tourists who have traveled there have been fined for vaping e-cigarettes and some have been put in jail for a short time in Thailand for simple possession of vaping paraphernalia and or the act of vaping. However online you can read all about people that actually walk around and vape openly in public on the streets. What’s happening there and how do we find out what the answer is? The answer to the question of “is vaping allowed in Thailand”. Is it a yes or is it a no?
Officially, one thing we want to be perfectly clear about here is this. It is illegal to vape and smoke e-cigarettes in Thailand. We recommend that you do not even try at all.
With that in mind and moving forward can it be that the very definition of vaping in Thailand is completely foreign to the rest of the world? Misconstrued. Maybe it’s just a cultural definition as to what vaping or NOT vaping means to the authorities there? Am I missing something? Are all the people on the internet that say “no, you cannot vape in Thailand” just misunderstanding the rest of that countries own perception of what vaping means? I highly doubt that. Confused already? So are others.
If you read online about it there is a lot subject matter that tells you no, you cannot vape in the country of Thailand. That vaping and e-cigarettes there are definitely illegal. There seems to be no doubt about it when you read directly what the government of Thailand's position on the subject is. It is a resounding no. We have even read online about this subject with reference to the Thai consulate in Los Angeles having had put out a statement claiming it to also be “no”. No e-cigarettes and nicotine based e-liquid allowed in Thailand period. So why are people still asking the questions as to whether or not its legal still? This question being in contrast to all the vape shops that used to exist recently and may still exist there. If you were to do a search for vape shops in Thailand, say on Google Earth for instance you can see right away that there are still many shops in many districts. So, what are these shops selling then?
The government of Thailand put the law into effect in 2014. A ban against vaping nationwide. A ban on e-juice, e-cigarettes, nicotine salt (nic salt), pods, tanks, coils. The whole thing. What are the consequences? There is no illusion as to what the penalties are for smoking e-cigarettes when or if someone is stopped for vaping. If you are caught vaping then heavy monetary fines are administered and possibly coupled with up to 10 years in a Thai jail. What is that like? I don’t know myself. Nobody wants that.
There is reference to being able to obtain e-juice/vape juice from all types of sources in Thailand. Some references I have seen others write about are everything from physical vape shops to actual door to door delivery of vape juice and or e-juice. How is this possible?
Raids on vape shops have started this year (2018). In May of 2018 a team of military members from the Royal Thai Armies 5th infantry division conducted a raid on a small vape shop. On the same raid on the same day at the same time a group of people from the Royal Thai Navy Third Area Command in Wichit Thailand also raided the same shop. This is impressive sounding! They must have eliminated many enemies. Actually there were only 2 shop owners there. The main person being an unarmed, barefoot woman who was selling vape juice and electronic cigarettes. This group of soldiers and sailors marched into the JP Adventure vaping shop and with a bold and sudden shock and awe maneuver, scared the owner, confiscated all the e-juice with other items and made her close shop. There was a photo op as well where the shop owner was made to stand near her confiscated loot and pose for a photograph while pointing to her own confiscated products. I.E. Vape juice and e-cigarettes, nic salt, wics, pods, vape pens. Her shop was carefully camouflaged as a vape shop selling e-liquid in the middle of a business district out in the open! How clever! I believe one Soldier suffered a back sprain lifting a box of heavy items whilst one of the sailors was having a bad hair day. Not many casualties otherwise with the exception of the e-cigarettes and e-liquids/vape juice. Find more information here.
This whole odd debacle is not relegated to just vaping, e-cigarettes, e-juice and pods etc… There is for a lack of a better phrase the ramp up ban on regular smokers and traditional cigarettes in Thailand also that is slowly moving up from a limited standpoint. 24 resort beaches have a ban in effect so far on traditional cigarette smoking and these ban’s seem to be growing. Needless to say this ban also includes the overall vaping ban on electronic cigarettes and vape juice also. Does this all sound familiar and echoing to a similar set of events in a previous article I wrote here?
One of the beaches for instance in Phuket which is very popular and has the no smoking policy in effect to try to stave off effects that traditional cigarettes have on the “marine environment”. Why do this and “who” is the government trying to impress? Is this just all smoke and mirrors for a bigger more long term venture? Venture…
Now we try to get to the point. Why would this whole ban on vaping and e-cigs even be in existence? Some explain that the officials there are out of touch with all that is happening and simply want total control over the tobacco industry. Others may mention it’s pharmaceutical companies that are trying to categorize and control vaping and vape-juice containing nicotine. And furthermore there is this. There is an entity called the Tobacco Authority Of Thailand(TAOT) formerly known as the TTM (Thailand Tobacco Monopoly). They want complete control of anything nicotine based in Thailand seemingly but with emphasis on tobacco itself. We have seen movements like this before where government control has a big effect on what people are allowed to smoke and where to do that therein nationwide. Now, some people think that TAOT’s mounting control over smoking is a good thing since their newly formed partnership with the WHO (World Health Organization) whilst they were still called Thailand Tobacco monopoly. Find more information on TTM here.
Seemingly it would be assumed that those in a government position and in charge of millions may have their people's best interest in mind by teaming up with the World Health Organization to help stave off smoking in general in a country where smoking is a crisis. This can be agreed upon but once again there is another overwhelming entity or business opportunity also. The once named TTM (Thai Tobacco Monopoly) now corporatized and called the TAOT (Tobacco Authority Of Thailand) has positioned itself to make a lot of money from business and trade with tobacco in mind. Also being in bed with The WHO helps them to actually circumvent the health of a nation by maintaining control and actually being able to produce tobacco akin to big tobacco businesses. To say they care by setting some regulations against smoking whilst at the same time setting up more production in the way of traditional tobacco cigarettes is hypocritical.
Needless to say they do not have vaping or vapers in mind. Regardless, nicotine or not the key ingredient to them here is tobacco and not nicotine. And this may be why there is some sort of movement in the way of vape shop closures and military style raids across Thailand.
Here is a quote from someone that I found online in a forum and thought it to have perfect relevance to what I am exactly trying to say here.
“Thailand is not a rich country and relies heavily on its holiday trade. The tax on tobacco based products is high and generates a substantial amount of income. Bringing into the country vape products reduces its ability to generate income from taxation. Us Westerners may feel this a little insignificant, however the Thai government doesn’t, so enjoy their wonderful country and its customs and leave your vapes at home!”
This just in. The Tobacco Authority of Thailand plans to make a new cigarette and it plans to try to target tourists to buy these cigarettes. These new cigarettes will launch by October 1, 2018. Wait, why dont they want to sell e-juice or e-cigarettes to the tourists? Oh wait because they don't do electronic cigarettes? No “monopoly” there. The TAOT wants to target the growing number of Chinese tourists with a new indigenous made cigarette meant for Chinese visitors to Thailand specifically. This is just the start for this type of business model. If you want to buy from a non monopolized vendor of e-liquid and other great vaping products go here to one of our verified vendors!
Could it be that old mentalities of big business is just a thing around the world still, not willing to give up its grip on societies that themselves are willing to embrace new products and change like say for instance, e-juice and e-cigarettes? Government intervention to the point where the use of soldiers and sailors to conduct raids on mom and pop style small business’ is acceptable in some countries that stand in the way of coporatization? It being that vaping and the business of electronic cigarettes with vape juice are considered mom and pop still in the world when measured against the likes of big government owned traditional tobacco. Whether you believe that vaping is better for you or not isn't even the issue here anymore. When a corporatized government can use the WHO (World Health Organization) to help circumvent laws, influence minds and businesses then the world of vaping and e-cigarettes will have a struggle ahead to assert itself on the world stage as a choice for people and their own business.