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Smoking in Thailand

There has been a downwards trend in current smoking prevalence in the general population in Thailand. Smoking prevalence was 25% overall in 2000 and declined to just under 21% in 2015, with a further drop to 18% projected by 2025. The prevalence of current smoking for men remains high. Men’s smoking prevalence decreased from 48% in 2000 to 40.5% in 2015, with a further decrease to 36% projected by 2025. Women’s smoking prevalence was much lower, at 2.7% in 2000; this decreased very slightly to 2.2% in 2015, and is projected to decrease further to 2% by 2025. The WHO published prevalence trend estimates in tobacco smoking, as shown here, in their 2018 2nd edition report, which show slightly different smoking prevalence to the WHO country profiles. Data for the estimates are not age standardised, and were obtained from WHO databases. The trend lines are projections, not predictions, of future attainment. A projection indicates a likely endpoint if the country maintains its tobacco control efforts at the same level that it has implemented them to date. Therefore the impact of recent interventions could alter the expected endpoint shown in the projection. While the methods of estimation used in the first and second editions of the WHO report are the same, the volume of data available for the second edition is larger i.e. 200 more national surveys. The results presented are therefore more robust.

Read articles from Thailand

June 17, 2024 by

Teachers get power to seize e-cigarettes

Teachers nationwide are now empowered to confiscate e-cigarettes in schools, as authorized by the Education and Commerce Ministries. This measure aims to address the worrying trend of students using e-cigarettes, which can harm their health and development. Despite efforts by Obec and police, the issue persists due to limitations on seizing items without police intervention. The proactive initiative allows educators to enforce anti-smoking laws, protecting students from the risks of vaping. This move follows Bangkok's initiative to make schools e-cigarette-free, enabling thorough bag checks and education on vaping dangers.

October 23, 2023 by

Are vape laws vapid?

Over the past several years, we have seen the world wake up to the question of whether vapes and e-cigarettes are a better alternative to tobacco, which is well documented as harmful to our health. Authorities in the UK are preparing to ban the sale and manufacture of single-use vapes by next year [...] We have witnessed a growing debate over the safety of vaping in Thailand, where it is illegal but nonetheless widely available. The question is whether vapes and e-cigarettes are as harmful as traditional tobacco products. People are also concerned about the reasons behind the ban, and whether or not smokers should switch to vaping for better health.

September 18, 2023 by

Most parents back vape ban: study

Most parents of students agree the new government should maintain the current ban on the import and sale of e-cigarettes, citing the potential health risk, according to the Research Centre for Social and Business Development (SAB). Suriyan Boontae, deputy director of the SAB, said 91% of the 5,582 respondents nationwide supported a continuation of the ban, saying it would limit young people's exposure to smoking. The survey was conducted among 4,087 parents of students from upper primary to high schools. The other respondents were teachers and school administrators.

April 26, 2023 by

Will Thailand Soon Overturn One of the World’s Harshest Vape Bans?

Thailand’s general elections on May 14 might just bring about the end of the country’s draconian vape policies. Merely possessing a nicotine vape can currently get your item confiscated, land you with a big fine or even send you to prison for up to five years. Severe penalties and corrupt enforcement have seen Thailand branded the world’s worst country to be a person who vapes. But Thai tobacco harm reduction activists are hopeful that things will soon change.

February 08, 2023 by

Vape issue has no easy fix

The recent news of police extorting tourists for possessing e-cigarettes raises the question of whether it's time or not to legalise these electronic devices. But it's an issue that goes beyond limiting the income stream of crooked cops.

While cigarettes, with their detrimental impacts on health, are legal, e-cigarettes have been banned since 2017. Despite the ban, about 80,000 e-cigarette users in the kingdom are violating the law. More than half of this number is in the 15–24 age group.

November 08, 2022 by

'Teen vaping crisis' drives public unease

A domestic tobacco control network has voiced concern about young children smoking e-cigarettes.

A member of the national tobacco product control board said there has been a spike in the number of teenagers who vape.

According to a survey on Thai people's health conducted in 2019 and 2020, 5.3% of children aged 10 to 19 years have tried vaping, and 2.9% do so regularly. Around 30% of people in this age bracket who smoke e-cigarettes are women, the study showed.

October 31, 2022 by

Vaping ban fails to do its job

Despite Thailand's ban on e-cigarettes, they are easily available online. Worse, consumers are subject to heavy lobbying from the vaping industry, which spreads disinformation in its bid to end the ban. The government must put a stop to this dirty business. The ban on e-cigarettes has been in effect since 2014. The Public Health Ministry says the vapour from e-cigarettes contains nicotine, which is highly addictive and harmful to health. The ban also applies to refills and other vaping equipment with punishment to both vendors and vapers if the law is enforced.


September 26, 2022 by

Pro vaping group calls on govt to legalise e-cigarettes

The director of a pro-e-cigarette group in Thailand believes legalizing the activity would not only lead to more control over vaping amongst the kingdom’s youth but make it safer than the dreaded cancer stick.

A survey conducted by the National Statistical Office of Thailand last year found more than half of the kingdom’s 80,000 e-cigarette smokers were people aged between 15 to 24. With that survey in mind, Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul earlier this month stressed the need to continue banning e-cigarette imports to protect the nation’s teenagers from vaping health risks.

August 30, 2022 by

Ban on e-cigarettes to remain

The government has affirmed its stance against vaping, saying e-cigarettes are affecting the health of vapers of whom more than half are considered youths. Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul stressed the need to continue banning e-cigarette imports to protect youths from vaping health risks when he spoke at a national conference on cigarettes and public health held in Bangkok on Monday. A survey conducted by the National Statistical Office of Thailand last year found more than half of the about 80,000 e-cigarette smokers in Thailand were people aged 15 to 24.


July 24, 2022 by

Thailand bans sales of cannabis e-cigarettes

The National Tobacco Products Control Committee has resolved to ban sales of electronic cigarette products containing cannabis extracts, along with traditional cigarettes and cigars containing cannabis.

The meeting was chaired by Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul. Following the decision, a new guideline will be introduced in the form of ministerial regulations, while rules for e-cigarettes fall under the responsibility of the police and the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society.


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10 September 2019

Thailand: total ban - truth and consequences

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25 February 2024

Will the WHO ever get to grips with the public health success of safer products?

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28 July 2023

[EN] #GFN23 | The Tobacco Control playbook

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16 September 2019

Recovering the body immune system after quitting smoking. Is it influenced by using e-cigarettes?

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16 September 2019

Uniting the harm reduction movements

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22 June 2022

GFN'22 | CommUNITY regional networks in THR consumer advocacy, with Nancy Loucas

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23 June 2022

GFN'22 | Prohibition by stealth - using tax and regulation to block harm reduction

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22 June 2021

GFN'21 | M. Russell Keynote - Investment in Nicotine Innovation: risks&rewards for public health