Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has vowed to retain Thailand's ban on e-cigarettes, insisting the new government will not yield to lobbying from an interest group that has been working hard to lift the prohibition.
"Someone wants these black-market products, which have a substantial value, to be legalised," Gen Prayut said, responding to questions from reporters on Tuesday.
"But in making decisions on this matter, the government cannot simply consider the economic impact," the prime minister said. "E-cigarettes will also impact people's health and place an extra burden on the country's health-care budget," he added.
The Public Health Ministry should work harder to educate the public on the health effects of vaping, while officials should crack down further on the illegal sale of e-cigarettes, he said.
E-cigarettes have been banned since 2014.