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Thailand: ‘Teen vaping crisis’ drives public unease

4 November 2022

By Gary Boyle, Bangkok Post

A domestic tobacco control network has voiced concern about young children smoking e-cigarettes.

A member of the national tobacco product control board said there has been a spike in the number of teenagers who vape.

According to a survey on Thai people’s health conducted in 2019 and 2020, 5.3% of children aged 10 to 19 years have tried vaping, and 2.9% do so regularly. Around 30% of people in this age bracket who smoke e-cigarettes are women, the study showed.

The board said more needs to be done to raise awareness of the harmful effects of vaping, which can negatively impact the brain, heart, and lungs and cause cancer.

The Thailand Youth Institute said one of the problems with vaping is that it is considered safer and more trendy than smoking regular cigarettes, especially among high school students.

A lecturer at the Faculty of Medicine at Ramathibodi Hospital said vendors currently offer more than 16,000 different flavours of vaping liquid, making it easier for children to get hooked.

She cited one study which showed that one vape cartridge contains as much nicotine as a packet of 20 regular cigarettes.

Half of those who vaped experienced depression while 70% of children found it difficult to kick the habit, she said.