Dubai: UAE nationals visiting Thailand have been warned they risk years in prison if they vape or take e-cigarettes into the country.
The UAE Embassy in Bangkok has advised Emirati tourists that authorities in Thailand have outlawed all kinds of electronic cigarettes. Anyone found breaking the ban could face a fine or up to ten years in prison.
Thailand is one of the favourite destinations for residents in the UAE. The Tourism Authority of Thailand recorded more than 500,000 visitors from the Middle East in 2015, led by tourists from the UAE, followed by Oman, with an average stay of just under 12 days.
The Southeast Asian state approved a legislation in 2014 banning the import of e-cigarettes into the country. The sale of vaping devices is also considered illegal in the kingdom. The ban applies to both Thais and foreigners.
The country’s tourism board had earlier issued an advisory to all travellers that anyone found using an electronic cigarette in Thailand could be arrested and face jail time, or a fine several times the value of the item.
“While electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes are used around the world as a way of helping people quit smoking, travellers coming to Thailand should be aware that these devices are in fact illegal in the kingdom,” the tourism authority said in a statement.
“There have been recent incidents of foreign travellers who were unaware of the ban facing an on-the-spot fine or being arrested.”
Travel agents and tour operators should therefore advise their clients heading to Thailand to leave behind any electronic cigarettes, or any item or equipment associated with vaping, such as the liquid use in the device.