Thailand is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, but British visitors are being warned not to use e-cigarettes in the country due to risk of arrest and imprisonment.
The advice comes from the Foreign Office after several British tourists were arrested and fined for vaping in public.
Back in 2014, the Bangkok Post reported that e-cigarettes and similar devices – including refills – were being banned as many of those manufactured in the country were poorly made, alongside false advertising about nicotine content leading officials to consider vaping a gateway to real tobacco products.
It seems the ban is now being sporadically enforced. Pat Waterton, a manager at travel agency Langley Travel, told Travel Weekly how her nephew was threatened with arrest and ten years’ imprisonment in Bangkok.
“I got a message from my sister saying James had been arrested in Thailand because he had an e-cigarette,” she said. “He managed to pay the policeman, who had told him he could go to jail. Ten years seems a long time to go to prison for smoking an e-cigarette.”
James was eventually let off after paying a £125 fine.
Foreign Office official guidance now tells British tourists to never take e-cigarettes or refills into Thailand. “These items are likely to be confiscated and you could be fined or sent to prison for up to 10 years if convicted.”