UK Warns Thailand Travelers: Leave Vapes Home

Ten years in prison is a long sentence for avoiding cigarettes

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If you’re a vaper, don’t visit Thailand. Or at least don’t plan on taking your vape gear!

The British government is officially warning travelers to Thailand not to pack vapes when entering the country. The U.K. foreign travel website is very specific, noting that several U.K. residents have been arrested already.

“You can’t bring vaporisers…or refills into Thailand,” says the site. “These items are likely to be confiscated and you could be fined or sent to prison for up to 10 years if convicted. The sale or supply of e-cigarettes and similar devices is also banned and you could face a heavy fine or up to 5 years imprisonment if found guilty. Several British Nationals have been arrested for possession of vaporisers and e-cigarettes.”

And now British travel agents are being advised to tell their customers about the ban. Pat Waterton of Langley Travel told the website Travel Weekly that her nephew was forced to pay an “on-the-spot fine” (also known as a bribe) to avoid being taken to jail on a recent trip to Bangkok.

“Thailand is a big destination for us and since the law has come into force about e-cigarettes we are incorporating the country’s customs and immigration information into all our customers’ itineraries,” Susan Papworth of Premier Holidays told Travel Weekly. “We haven’t seen any impact on bookings, but strongly advise that all agents pass on this advice to their customers.”

Four men were arrested in Thailand last month and charged with “illegally selling electronic cigarettes and liquid.” Sales, import and export of e-cigarettes are illegal in Thailand. The police said that the men were smuggling vapor products into the country, and selling to customers who placed orders through Facebook.

We also reported earlier this month on a Swiss vaper who was arrested in Thailand. He had only brought products for personal use, but that didn’t prevent the Thai government from charging him with “importation” of vapor products.

Jim McDonald
Smokers created vaping without any help from the tobacco industry or anti-smoking crusaders, and vapers have the right to keep innovating to help themselves. My goal is to provide clear, honest information about the challenges vaping faces from lawmakers, regulators, and brokers of disinformation. I recently joined the CASAA board, but my opinions aren’t necessarily CASAA’s, and vice versa. You can find me on Twitter @whycherrywhy