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 New government to continue the e-cigarette ban 

new government to continue the e-cigarette ban

The Action on Smoking and Health Foundation is encouraging the new administration to keep the e-cigarette ban in place while limiting the number of tax-free cigarette packs that people may bring into the country.

The foundation’s executive secretary, Dr Prakit Vathesatogkit, announced on Saturday that he had filed an open letter to the incoming administration, urging officials to consider enacting 12 ideas on cigarette and tobacco control.

He mentioned ratifying a convention to combat the illegal tobacco trade, which costs the government 10 billion baht in tax income each year.

The foundation also suggests that the government change the tax ratio on cigarettes and tobacco from the current dual tax rate to a single tax rate, as well as raise the tax rate on handmade cigarettes, which are currently about 10-12 baht per pack, roughly six to seven times cheaper than regular cigarettes.

The foundation also wants the government to make it illegal to smoke cigarettes and e-cigarettes in public places.

Dr. Prakit believes that the government should offer more human resources and funding to public health and tobacco control authorities, such as the Department of Disease Control, in order for policies to be properly enforced.

He also suggested that the government examine the number of cigarettes that visitors can bring into Thailand, saying that each person should only be allowed to bring one pack rather than the current ten. He claims that reducing the number of cigarettes imported will result in huge tax revenue for the country.

Most crucially, he believes the e-cigarette ban should remain in place. “Even though Thailand has enforced tobacco controls for over three decades, the administrative sector has not realized that control [requires] collaboration, not just the public health ministry,” he said of smoking in public areas.

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