Thailand imposes hefty fines on e-cigarette importers to curb sales

Picture courtesy of Racool_studio, Freepik

The Customs Department of Thailand imposed a hefty fine on e-cigarette importers, now demanding double the item’s value plus tax in an attempt to curb the increasing sales among the public, particularly the youth.

Panthong Loykulnan, the spokesperson for the department, announced yesterday that importers of e-cigarettes, barakus, shishas, and e-barakus will be mandated to pay a fine equivalent to twice the cost of the product, customs tax, and VAT. All confiscated items will be treated similarly to other goods with import restrictions, such as liquor, cigarettes, garlic, onions, shallots, and goods that infringe copyright laws.

According to Panthong, this stringent measure is a response to the swift proliferation of e-cigarettes among teenagers and students.

This week, two e-cigarette related cases were reported in Sisaket and Rayong. In Sisaket, district chief Kom Sangwong led a team to raid a city municipality shop, Monkey Tattoo, following a tip-off about illegal e-cigarette sales. As a result, the police seized 4,300 pieces of e-cigarette paraphernalia, such as liquids and mouthpieces, and 8,595 baht (US$234) in cash.

The shop’s employees, 27 year old Jakkririt, and 35 year old Arthikom, were arrested for selling e-cigarettes and possessing unlicensed cigarettes. They are now liable to pay quadruple the price of the confiscated items, roughly around 2 million baht (US$54,000), revealed Kom, reported Bangkok Post.

In a separate incident in Rayong, local police apprehended two suspects, 31 year old Watcharin Sicharoenpramong, and 22 year old Natchayanon Wongnoen, for allegedly selling e-cigarettes and e-barakus at their shops in the Mueang district. Along with the arrest, e-cigarette and e-barakus equipment, along with a list of orders, were seized, as stated by Traipob Wongrat, the governor of the province.

In related news, a plea has been made by the Consumer Protection Police Division (CPPD) for collective action to safeguard Thai youngsters from the adverse health effects of e-cigarettes.

Police Major General Wittaya Sriprasert, CPPD chief, stressed the need for educators, school personnel, parents, and relatives of young children to collaborate in imparting knowledge about the health hazards linked with vaping.

Thailand News

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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