Lawyer confirms possessing a vape in Thailand is illegal, can lead to jail
A celebrity lawyer has warned that people caught in possession of an e-cigarette (vaping device) in Thailand face up to five years in prison and a heavy fine.
The warning was issued by lawyer Ronnarong Kaewpetch, who often comments on hot issues via Facebook and TV, following public confusion after Bangkok police allegedly took a bribe from a Taiwanese actress to turn a blind eye to her vaper.
Two police captains and five sergeants from Huay Kwang station are facing disciplinary and criminal charges after detaining actress Charlene An for carrying a vaper on January 5 and then letting her go in exchange for 27,000 baht.
Thai social media users expressed confusion over why police detained the Taiwanese actress when vaping devices are widely available and used in Thailand.
Ronnarong however warned that people caught with a vaper can be penalised by five years in jail and a fine of four times the price of the device.
He added that vaping in public also violates Section 42 of the tobacco control act which carries a fine of 5,000 baht.
The Commerce Ministry banned imports of e-cigarette vaping devices, baraku and electric baraku smoking devices in 2014, he noted. The ban also covers vape liquids.
Importing vaping devices or liquids violates Section 20 of the import/export act and carries a jail term of up to 10 years and/or a fine of five times the value of the goods.
The Consumer Protection Board also banned the sale of e-cigarettes, baraku, e-baraku and their liquids in 2015, with up to five years jail time and/or a fine of 500,000 baht for violators.