Tourists Face 10 Years in Prison for Vaping in Thailand, Experts Warn

Bangkok, Thailand skyline at night
Bangkok, Thailand // Photo by thitivong/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

by Natalie Paris from The Telegraph, August 16, 2017

British travellers heading to Thailand have been warned they risk 10 years in prison for taking an e-cigarette into the country.

Experts say as the ban on vaping introduced in the Land of Smiles in 2014 is little known, holidaymakers unaware might find themselves facing prosecution for having a drag and being fined or sent to jail. 

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More than a million British tourists visit Thailand each year, according to the Foreign Office, and the South-East Asian country is a favourite among backpackers and gap-year students, for its accessibility and affordability.

Advice for tourists on the Foreign Office website states: “You can’t bring vaporisers (like e-cigarettes and e-baraku) 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.

“The sale or supply of e-cigarettes and similar devices is also banned and you could face a heavy fine or up to five years imprisonment if found guilty. Several British Nationals have been arrested for possession of vaporisers and e-cigarettes.”

Unusual laws that tourists should be wary of

A British travel agent at Langley Travel, Pat Waterton, said her nephew James was arrested for having an e-cigarette in Bangkok.

He paid a fine of £125 but was told by a policeman that he could go to jail.

Now she makes sure she warns anyone booking holidays to Thailand about the risk.

“If I’m selling Thailand I will definitely mention it now,” she told Travel Weekly. “All agents should. Thailand is very popular so we should make sure we are telling people about things that could ruin a holiday.”

Thailand has been under military rule since 2014 and there are strict rules in place that govern aspects of everyday life that Britons may not be aware of.

“People have been prosecuted for criticising the 2014 military coup,” the Foreign Office warns . “You should be wary of making political statements in public. Lèse-majesté, (criticism of the monarchy in any form) is a crime which can be broadly interpreted, and carries a long jail sentence.”

This goes so far as stepping on currency. See the box for more unusual laws.

 

This article was written by Natalie Paris from The Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to [email protected].

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