Thailand plans to ban products that promote nicotine use

KUALA LUMPUR: E-cigarettes are banned in Thailand but its Parlia­ment will table a new law seeking to prohibit all products that promote nicotine use, said a Thai official.

A member of the Thai Health Professional Alliance against Tobacco (ThPAT) Dr Suthat Rungruang­hiranya said the Bill would be tabled early next year.

“We need this law because we are seeing attempts by tobacco companies to come up with more and more of these products,” he said.

Dr Suthat was speaking on the sidelines of the 20th Congress of the Asian Pacific Society of Respirology, which ended yesterday.

It was reported that the Thai Cabinet banned the import of hookah-style waterpipes and e-cigarettes in October last year.

Dr Suthat said the Thai government also does not allow vaping.

Asked if people there still vaped despite the ban, he said there was nobody vaping in public.

He said studies on e-cigarettes were so far inconclusive on whether the trend posed a health risk but it would be better for governments to ban such products.

If it was later found to help smokers quit, the ban could always be lifted, he said.

Dr Suthat said ThPAT was trying to make the Food and Drug Administration responsible for monitoring new products entering the Thai market.

Thailand has two laws governing tobacco products and smoking – the Tobacco Products Control Act and Non-Smokers Health Protection Act, both passed in 1992.

Malaysia does not have a Tobacco Control Act but a Food Act and Poisons Act that govern nicotine in products.

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