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Phuket police arrest man for using ‘hookah’ pipes

Caitlin Ashworth



PHOTO: Unsplash: Wesley Balten

A 29 year old Isaan resident has been arrested by Phuket police for possessing 6 hookahs… the Middle Eastern water pipes are illegal in Thailand (although not too difficult to find being used in some commercial premises).

Krissada Pimchanda, from Khon Kaen, was charged with violating consumer protection laws. The laws prohibit the sale or provision of services for hookahs, electronic hookahs and electronic cigarettes as well as substances used in hookahs or electronic cigarettes.

The Phuket News says that people who were arrested in possession of hookahs in the past faced up to 3 years in jail and a fine up to 600,000 baht. They say that those importing the pipes face up to 10 years in jail and a fine up to 100,000 baht.

Thailand banned hookah-style water pipes and electronic cigarettes in 2014, a move pushed by public health officials who said it was getting young people into smoking.

Director of the Tobacco Control Research and Knowledge Management Center, or TRC, says smoking hookah, or baraku, is popular in pubs and other nightlife venues in Thailand. She says the appealing fruit flavors are attractive to young people and many believe it is less dangerous than cigarettes because it smells and tastes like fruit. Baraku is actually more harmful, she says.

“When tars in Baraku get hot, they are released as mutagens and toxicants. Baraku is a cause of several types of cancers such as lung cancer, mouth cancer and other serious tumors.”

SOURCES: Phuket News | Associated Press | TRC


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  1. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Thursday, September 10, 2020 at 4:27 pm

    If it is getting young people into smoking just ban anyone under 25 from these pipes.
    They do not want Thais using these hookah pipes because it is hard to tax them.
    They want Thais smoking cigarettes and paying tax. IMHO

    • Avatar


      Friday, September 11, 2020 at 12:21 pm

      I think all you read that comes out of Thailand is just bull sh**. There are enough hookah/sheesha bars/clubs in pattaya. We go regular and before covid19 they are usually packed, so where is it illegal and why are they always open ?

      • The Thaiger & The Nation

        The Thaiger & The Nation

        Friday, September 11, 2020 at 2:57 pm

        1) Find a brown paper bag 2) Put money inside 3) Give it to the right people

  2. Avatar


    Thursday, September 10, 2020 at 9:25 pm

    Thailand the Nanny State. Sigh.

    • Avatar

      Sam G

      Saturday, September 12, 2020 at 12:09 pm

      Don’t smoke Hookah pipe it’s dangerous, ride your motorbike drunk with no helmet? OK …
      No problem!

  3. Avatar

    hubbly bubbly

    Saturday, September 12, 2020 at 8:13 pm

    Thailand seems to be denying everything to do with Hookahs whichever you spell it?

  4. Avatar

    Gary Farmer

    Sunday, September 13, 2020 at 12:30 pm

    Somebody obviously forgot to mention these being illegal to the many bars and clubs located in the Arab Quater just off Sukhumvit Soi 3 especially as there is a Police Post situated directly across the road. Dirty Farangs ignoring the rules again I guess

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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