[April 10th] Thailand cracks down on e-cigarettes at schools

Thailand’s Office of the Basic Education Commission (Obec) will impose strict measures, such as searches of personal belongings, to crack down on vapes in schools following a “surge” in the number of students using them.

Thee Pawangkanan, deputy secretary-general of Obec, said the government is concerned that students aged 13–15 are increasingly using e-cigarettes. There have also been cases of vape use among first graders aged between six and seven – the youngest smokers.

According to Pawangkanan, vapes are made to look like cartoon character figures and they smell fruity, which could mislead parents, teachers, and students into thinking they are safe to consume. Health records have shown that vapes can severely damage the lungs.

The official stressed that Obec is highly concerned and will ask for the parents’ help in looking into the matter.

One of the measures Obec is looking to employ is searches of students’ bags before they enter classrooms to screen for illegal and inappropriate objects, including e-cigarettes.

Pawangkanan said the measures will be imposed at schools starting on May 15, the first day of the new term, to prevent dangerous and illegal goods in products.

Thailand’s Customs Department on April 7 arrested a total of 211 smugglers of cigarettes and vapes worth THB34.11 million (US$930,000) in total into the country between March 1 and April 5.

Source: VN Express