Thailand’s Digital Economy and Society Minister says it’s about time that e-cigarettes be legalised. The Minister, Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn, thinks Thailand should amend the law to reflect the lives of many people in developed countries.
According to Thai PBS World, Chaiwut added that Thailand’s neighbouring countries of Singapore and Malaysia have already legalised electronic smoking devices.
“The key issue is to legalise (e-cigarettes), if we believe that this is the way of life and a freedom and it is accepted by the majority, then we should do it,” said the DES minister, adding that making e-cigarettes legal will also help generate tax revenue for the state.”
He also says that e-cigarettes are currently smuggled into the country and offered for sale online with impunity due to the law remaining unchanged.
Chaiwut then furthered that corrupt police are taking advantage of the situation by demanding bribes from the public.
Such instances of bribes have occurred in recent days, with a group of Thai tour guides in Pattaya reporting the wrongdoing of a police officer who requested 60,000 baht from a group of Chinese tourists.
The tourists were reportedly carrying e-cigarettes. The police officer made the bribe request allegedly through a group chat on the LINE application.
The story later went viral after a member of the Professional Tourist Guide Association of Thailand committee, Paisarn Suethanuwong, talked about it during an interview with Channel 3 on Wednesday.
Mueang Pattaya Police Station Superintendent Kunlachart Kunlachai reported yesterday that the senior police sergeant major mentioned by the Thai guides acknowledged he is the accused but had denied it.
According to a Channel 3 report, Nopphakit had denied the accusation and insisted he is innocent. He added that he is a good, hard-working officer. Posts on the Mueang Pattaya Police Station website also laud the senior policeman as being a good officer.
However, the police officer was transferred to Chon Buri Police Headquarters after finally admitting he illegally fined the Chinese tourists for carrying vapes.
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