No more fines for vaping in Thailand, claims Chuwit

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Smoking E-cigarettes, or vaping, is illegal in Thailand. But the crime will no longer carry fines or penalties following recent news of police extorting vapourising tourists, said controversial Thai politician and “tub tycoon” Chuwit Kamolvisit after a phone call with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.

Police will continue confiscating E-cigarettes, but the vapouriser will not be punished, said Chuwit.

Vaping, which has been banned since 2017, came into the spotlight when Huai Kwang Police Officers extorted 27,000 baht from a Taiwanese actress for carrying an illegal E-cigarette last month.

Then, Pattaya Police fined a group of Chinese tourists 30,000 baht of an initial 60,000 baht fine for possessing E-cigarettes in Pattaya.

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The issue is that according to Thai law, Thai police cannot arrest or fine foreigners with vapes. Those accused of breaking the law should be tried in court.

Thai police are using anti-vaping to make quick cash from foreigners, who most of the time aren’t even aware of Thailand’s anti-vaping laws, given that the streets are lined with vendors selling illegal electronic devices.

Anti-corruption hero and former MP Chuwit revealed to the press that after a fruitful phone call with Thailand’s PM Prayut, there will be no more vaping fines or penalties in Thailand.

Vaping is still illegal and any vapes found by police will be confiscated. However, the vapouriser will not face punishment to prevent extortion of tourists, according to Chuwit.

The Ministry of Public Health is still looking for a long-term solution to the issue because vaping is detrimental to health and should be discouraged.

Vaping corruption is certainly not the only issue on Chuwit’s agenda, who started his press conference sat on a red mat clutching a magnifying glass and whiteboard, calling out corruption left, right and centre.

Soapy king Chuwit claims there is evidence of corruption within the Ministry of Transport relating to a BTS Skytrain project with damages amounting to 70 billion baht, some of which was used to support some political parties’ election campaigns.

Chuwit addressed another hot issue, gambling, claiming that the macau888 website is just a small fish compared to bigger illegal gambling networks such as “Tee Noi Roi Lan,” “Dee UEFA” and “Joke Vegas168.”

“Tub tycoon” Chuwit was once Thailand’s biggest massage parlour owner. After an arrest in 2003, he claimed he paid large bribes to several high-ranking Thai police officers, exposing corruption in the force.

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Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.

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