Narcotic-level penalties await for vaping in schools
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Narcotic-level penalties await for vaping in schools

The Education Ministry will amend its regulation to list e-cigarettes in the prohibited category of narcotics, Suthep Kaengsanthia, permanent secretary, said on Wednesday.

Mr Suthep said the ministry wants to crimp the growing popularity of e-cigarette use among students and has ordered schools nationwide to take action against vape use in schools.

"We have amended our regulations to classify e-cigarettes in the prohibited category of narcotic drugs," Mr Suthep said.

"Punishment for students who bring e-cigarettes to school will be serious and equal to the penalty of having illicit drugs," he said.

The amendment is under consideration by the Council of State, he said, adding the ministry expects to have the new regulation enforced within the month.

Mr Suthep said the ministry has also initiated a project to promote safety in schools with the participation of all sectors.

He said the project is designed to keep students safe from the time they leave home for school until they return home.

For this, education officials will cooperate with agencies such as local police, public health offices and drug suppression police.

The officials will also help create awareness among students about various social risks, he added. No further details were available.

Meanwhile, Provincial Police Region 5 arrested a 28-year-old woman, known only as Ms Chana, for allegedly selling e-cigarettes, with students among her customers, in tambon Phra Sing of Chiang Mai's Muang district, a source said on Wednesday.

Police also confiscated about 4,000 items, including 1,500 baht in cash, e-cigarette advertisement signs, disposable pods, and vape juice in various flavours such as watermelon, grape and cola.

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