Police urge joint effort in vape war
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Police urge joint effort in vape war

Awareness of risks from e-ciggies low

The Consumer Protection Police Division (CPPD) is asking for a concerted push to help protect Thai youths from the negative health consequences posed by e-cigarettes.

CPPD chief Pol Maj Gen Wittaya Sriprasert said teachers, school staff, parents of young children and their relatives must work together to educate youngsters about the health risks posed by vaping.

He said they should also be made aware of the criminal punishment likely for violating laws which prohibit the sale and possesion of such devices in Thailand.

Citing CPPD statistics, he said the number of cases involving illegal sales and/or possession of e-cigarettes and/or their cartridges has been on the rise in recent years.

In 2022, authorities seized vapes and cartridges worth two million baht from 31 vendors. Last year, they seized 10.14 million baht worth of e-cigarettes and cartridges from 25 vendors.

"Most were drawn in by their sleek designs and wide range of flavours." -- Pol Maj Gen Wittaya Sriprasert, CPPD Chief

As of this month, CPPD officials have seized 2.7 million baht worth of vapes and cartridges in 42 cases, he said.

Most recently, two Myanmar nationals were arrested on Saturday for selling vapes and cartridges along Sukhumvit Road in Watthana district.

The suspects, identified as only Khin, 42, and Hhyo, 25, were arrested with a large quantity of e-cigarettes, he said.

The CPPD chief said the police have conducted a study on why and how e-cigarettes have become so popular among Thai youths in such a short amount of time, despite them being illegal under Thai law.

The study found most consumers were drawn in by the devices' sleek designs and the wide range of flavours and variety on offer, he said.

Online marketing and other advertising tactics used by e-cigarette makers and traders to target young people are the other reasons why vapes have become so popular, he said.

The research also found that because e-cigarettes aren't as expensive as cigarettes and could be used multiple times, many had the impression the products were good value for money, he said.

He added that awareness about the actual health impact of e-cigarette use among Thai youths is fairly low.

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