Vaping Activist: Thai Minister Won’t Stop Legalization…

Asa Saligupta

Tobacco Harm Reduction advocates stay optimistic that Thailand will legalize e-cigarettes, regardless of vocal opposition from the nation’s well being minister.

On April 26, Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul stated he opposes legalization of vapor merchandise within the nation, citing concern about underage consumption and the plight of tobacco farmers.

Asa Saligupta, director of ENDS Cigarette Smoke Thailand (ECST), recommended Charnvirakul was enjoying politics. “After his abysmal handling of the pandemic, among other things, he could easily lose his seat at Thailand’s upcoming general election. He’s simply panicking but has completely under-estimated the wide support for legalizing and regulating vaping,” stated Saligupta.

With draft laws to legalize e-cigarettes at present earlier than a sub-committee, the ECST Director stays assured that the vaping invoice can be handed by Thailand’s parliament this yr.

“The Thai government can and will regulate safer nicotine products regardless of what one Minister says,” stated Saligupta. “Let’s not forget that Digital Economy and Society Minister Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn, government officials, and public health experts have all been key to finally confronting Thailand’s failed tobacco control policies,” he says.

According to Saligupta, Thailand’s harsh ban and penalties on vape imports and gross sales have failed.

“Smoking continues to kill about 50,000 Thai people each and every year. Too many smokers have been stuck with cigarettes or are forced onto the black market for vapes where there’s no control over the purchase age or product safety standards. An effective public health minister would not accept this dire situation, let alone support it,” he says.

ECST believes it’s no shock the minister made his anti-vaping assertion to ThaiHealth board members. Its senior adviser, Prakit Vathesatogkit, just lately obtained the Dr Lee Jong-wook Memorial Prize by the World Health Organization for his work towards tobacco. He has additionally been a high-profile voice towards legalizing vaping.

“ThaiHealth along with some local conservative health voices continue to publicly scaremonger, conveniently ignoring the growing tobacco harm reduction success globally,” stated Saligupta. “By joining the minority, Thailand’s Public Health Minister is now among an increasingly isolated crowd who continue to follow the WHO’s discredited anti-vape agenda,” he says.

According to Saligupta, practically 70 nations have now adopted regulatory frameworks on safer nicotine merchandise regardless of the WHO place, resulting in dramatic declines of their total smoking charges. The Philippines and Malaysia are additionally set to legalize vaping.  

“Thankfully the Thai government remains on the right side of the debate,” he stated. “Regulating will give consumers better protection, encourage more smokes to quit deadly cigarettes, and ensure we have much better control over youth vaping with a strict purchase age,” he says.

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