According to a media report on November 20th, Asa Saligupta, the head of Thailand’s ENDS Smoke and Vape Organization (ECST), has urged the Thai government to legislate in order to encourage smokers to switch to less harmful nicotine alternatives.
Asa Saligupta believes that the current restrictions on alternative smoking products in Thailand are driving these products underground, resulting in unregulated markets, endangering government tax revenue, and compelling consumers to continue smoking.
Thailand banned e-cigarettes and other electronic nicotine products in 2014, leading to the arrests of local e-cigarette users and foreign tourists. Sali Gupta stated that this measure prevented smokers from switching to less harmful nicotine alternatives.
Saligupta believes that Thailand should follow in the footsteps of the Philippines, which recently passed an e-cigarette law that recognizes the role of Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR) in the anti-smoking movement. THR involves using less harmful alternatives that can mitigate the health effects of combustible tobacco.
The Philippines has become the first country in Southeast Asia to pass e-cigarette legislation. This law regulates the sale and use of e-cigarettes, heated tobacco, and other smokeless products exclusively to adult consumers.
The Republic Act No. 11900, also known as the Vaporized Nicotine and Non-Nicotine Products Regulation Act, became law in 2022 in Thailand. This e-cigarette legislation regulates the importation, sale, packaging, distribution, use, and promotion of vaporized nicotine and non-nicotine products, as well as other emerging tobacco products such as e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products.