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Vape pens seized near schools

vape pens seized near schools

Raids on five shops near schools have resulted in the seizure of at least 12,000 e-cigarettes, valued at approximately 3.6 million baht.

Officials from the consumer protection agency conducted searches at three shops located on Soi Ratchadaphisek in Chatuchak district, one in Soi Lat Phrao 122 of Wang Thong Lang district, and another in Soi Ramkhamhaeng 65, Wang Thong Lang, on Tuesday night. PM’s Office Minister Phuangphet Chunla-iad informed reporters on Wednesday that twenty bags containing more than 12,000 e-cigarettes were confiscated, amounting to a retail value of 3.6 million baht.

Phuangphet highlighted that e-cigarette products sold near schools were often disguised as snacks, ordinary pens, or even small milk cartons to attract young people. Such packaging made it difficult for teachers to detect the presence of vaping pens being sold nearby.

Emphasizing the dangers of nicotine in e-cigarettes, Phuangphet warned that it could harm brain development until approximately the age of 25, affecting emotions, learning abilities, and increasing the risk of addiction to other substances.

The raids were carried out following Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin’s directives during a cabinet meeting for state agencies to intensify their efforts to combat the smuggling and sale of e-cigarettes, especially in shops near schools.

Thasornatt Thanittipun, secretary-general of the Office of the Consumer Protection Board, stated that strict enforcement of the Consumer Protection Act and related laws would be applied against e-cigarette sellers. Offenders could face a maximum of 3 years in prison and/or a fine of 600,000 baht under the Consumer Protection Act, while those involved in smuggling could face up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine four times the value of the goods under the Customs Act.

The seized e-cigarettes would be handed over to the police and destroyed upon conclusion of the court cases. The employees arrested during the raids were reported to be from neighboring countries, and investigations would be conducted to determine their employers.

During the media briefing, Phuangphet displayed vaping pens with a logo resembling that of the Move Forward Party and urged the opposition party to investigate and take action against those responsible.

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