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Thailand Cracks Down on Illegal E-Cigarettes: Urgent Call for Youth Education on Vaping Dangers

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On February 25, 2023, the Customs Department took a major step in the battle against illegal e-cigarettes, publicly displaying seized contraband worth a whopping 72 million baht before their destruction. This eye-catching spectacle underscored the ongoing war against unauthorized vaping products in the country.

In the midst of these efforts, a recent survey conducted between May 1 and 27 involving 40,164 youths aged 6 to 30 has shed light on some startling beliefs and behaviors regarding e-cigarettes among the young population. Dr. Sura Wisetsak, the director-general of the Department of Health Service Support (DHSS), revealed the findings with a tone of concern.

The survey was a collaborative effort between the DHSS’s Health Education Division, the Thailand Youth Institute, and the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA). The data revealed that a significant 18% of respondents were using e-cigarettes, and even more worryingly, many held dangerous misconceptions about these devices.

Out of the surveyed youth, a surprising 61% believed that vaping could help them kick the habit of smoking traditional tobacco, a notion that diverges sharply from current health data. Meanwhile, more than half, 51% to be exact, astonishingly thought nicotine was a healthy substance — a misconception that could lead to serious health risks in the future.

Additionally, 50% of the respondents assumed that vapes are inherently safer than regular cigarettes, while 26% were under the impression that e-cigarettes did not contain nicotine at all. A worrying 23% were convinced that vaping devices were legal, and 12% believed that the vapor emitted from these devices was safe to inhale.

Dr. Sura voiced his concern, stating that many young people are inadequately informed about the harmful effects of vaping. This alarming lack of knowledge prompted the DHSS to enlist GEN-H Health Hero, a network of young health volunteers, to embark on a mission to educate their peers. Their goal: to debunk these dangerous myths and spread factual information about the risks associated with e-cigarettes.

Meanwhile, in Surat Thani, local authorities made a significant bust of illegal vaping products and cigarettes valued at 8 million baht. Acting on a tip-off, customs officials intercepted a vehicle adorned with Thailand Post logos on Highway 41 in the Tha Chang district. The vehicle, originating from a post office in Hat Yai, was found carrying a staggering 996,340 contraband cigarettes and 3,863 e-cigarettes and liquids.

This significant seizure reflects the ongoing efforts to crack down on illegal tobacco and vaping products. Authorities are continuing their investigation to uncover the full scale of this smuggling operation and to bring those responsible to justice.

In a related twist, news surfaced about teachers being granted the authority to confiscate e-cigarettes. This measure is seen as another step in the collective effort to curb the spread of vaping among adolescents and young adults.

The insights garnered from the survey, coupled with the relentless efforts of law enforcers, underscore a critical need for widespread public education on the dangers of vaping. It’s clear that dispelling the myths surrounding e-cigarettes and fostering an informed youth population is crucial for the country’s health and safety.


  1. John D. June 25, 2024

    It’s about time someone did something about these e-cigarettes! The myths kids believe these days are ridiculous.

    • coolguy99 June 25, 2024

      Totally! My cousin thinks vaping is just flavored air. Education is the key.

      • Serena Lee June 25, 2024

        But isn’t vaping still less harmful than smoking? Shouldn’t we push for harm reduction rather than outright bans?

      • John D. June 25, 2024

        Less harmful doesn’t mean safe. We can’t ignore the health risks just because it’s ‘less bad’ than cigarettes.

    • Liz G. June 25, 2024

      I agree, John. Kids are being duped by attractive marketing and peer pressure.

  2. Veronica S. June 25, 2024

    Are these measures really effective? With such high demand, won’t illegal markets just thrive more?

    • Phil June 25, 2024

      Good point. Demand creates supply, and strict laws might drive everything underground.

    • Jen L. June 25, 2024

      True, but it’s a start. We need both law enforcement and education to make a real impact.

    • Veronica S. June 25, 2024

      Education is key, but let’s not forget about attention to mental health and other addiction issues.

  3. smokefree78 June 25, 2024

    Vaping is just as addictive and harmful as smoking, if not worse. The younger generation needs to realize this!

  4. Timmy June 25, 2024

    Wait, teachers can confiscate e-cigarettes now? That’s pretty strict.

    • Jess C. June 25, 2024

      Better strict than sorry. School is no place for vaping!

    • Timmy June 25, 2024

      I guess, but it feels like teachers are becoming police.

    • Jess C. June 25, 2024

      True, but it’s all about keeping kids safe. Would you rather have unchecked vaping in schools?

  5. Emily K. June 25, 2024

    I think it’s great that young people are now being educated by their peers. Peer influence can be powerful!

    • Ken W. June 25, 2024

      Absolutely. Peer-to-peer education could bridge the gap that older generations might not understand.

    • Emily K. June 25, 2024

      Exactly! Youth influence youth more effectively than any adult can.

  6. grand_luddite June 25, 2024

    No matter how hard they try, they won’t stop kids from vaping. It’s just today’s rebellion.

  7. Anna B. June 25, 2024

    Seizing illegal e-cigarettes is fine, but what about the legal ones? They’re the ones mostly misleading kids.

    • Larry June 25, 2024

      Legal ones are an issue too. Ads make them look so cool and safe.

    • Tom L June 25, 2024

      For sure, tighter regulations on marketing are needed!

    • Anna B. June 25, 2024

      Right? Just go to any convenience store, and you’ll see the promotion in full swing.

  8. Mike June 25, 2024

    It’s so weird that some kids think nicotine is healthy. Where are they getting this info?

    • Luna June 25, 2024

      Probably from social media and their peer groups. Reliable information doesn’t get shared as much.

    • smart_guy June 25, 2024

      Exactly, Luna. Misinformation is everywhere online. We need more reliable sources out there.

    • Mike June 25, 2024

      Yeah, the internet is a double-edged sword. More awareness campaigns are needed.

  9. Kim Y. June 25, 2024

    Enforcement is great, but focusing on underlying issues like mental health is just as important.

  10. Isaac M June 25, 2024

    I feel like this whole situation is blowing things out of proportion. Plenty of things hurt people, why single out vaping?

  11. Dr. Lee June 25, 2024

    Because it’s preventable! We have the knowledge now to stop a new generation from suffering like those before them.

  12. Joe June 25, 2024

    It’s sad that kids are getting hooked on these things. How did we let this happen?

  13. Samantha June 25, 2024

    I don’t blame the kids; it’s the companies and ads making vaping look harmless.

    • Toby June 25, 2024

      Exactly, who regulates these companies? They have no morality.

    • Samantha June 25, 2024

      Governments need to step up and crack down harder on misleading advertising.

  14. Luke June 25, 2024

    I used to think vaping was safe until a friend got really sick from it. Education saved me.

  15. Melissa S. June 25, 2024

    Parents should also play a role here. Educate your kids at home first.

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