Bangkok e-cigarette raid seizes 10,000 products

Photo courtesy of Bangkok Post

Thai authorities have swooped on five e-cigarette outlets in the vicinity of Bangkok’s universities and residential properties, confiscating 10,000 e-cigarette products valued at 3 million baht.

The operation was headed by Puangpet Chunlaiad, a minister from the Prime Minister’s Office yesterday in collaboration with the Office of the Consumer Protection Board (OCPB) and officers of Lat Phrao Police Station. The raid spanned across five shops located in the Lat Phrao and Ramkhamhaeng areas.

Among the seized items were 10,000 e-cigarettes of varying types, including standard shaped e-cigarettes and toy pods, which are nicotine vaping devices fashioned to resemble cartoon characters. The total value of these items was estimated at 3 million baht.

The largest shop implicated in this operation is situated in Soi Lat Phrao 107, in close proximity to a renowned private university. Two employees managed this shop and they professed ignorance about the owner’s identity. This shop reportedly made around 10,000 baht daily from e-cigarette sales, mainly targeting university students, while allegedly refraining from selling to those under 20 years old.

Lertsak Raktham, who serves as the deputy director of the OCPB’s Special Operations Center, has stated that all the shop owners will be apprehended.

In the meantime, Dr Prakit Vathesatogkit, the executive secretary of the Action on Smoking and Health Foundation, is closely observing the government’s actions against e-cigarettes. This comes after Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin recently instructed several agencies to crack down on e-cigarettes for the first time.

Dr Prakit pointed out that countries such as England, France, and Belgium, where toy pods were initially available before they made their way to Thailand, now have legal regulations prohibiting their sale, reported Bangkok Post.

He also revealed that a survey of Thai students indicated that the region with the highest number of minor e-cigarette smokers is the Northeast, followed by the South, North, and Central region.

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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