State of Vaping in Thailand

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by Jeffrey Buckley

Updated: August 7, 2020

vaping state in Thailand is it going to be banned

Do you like Muay Thai kickboxing? I do! My class is planning a trip to train with some of the masters. Naturally, I wondered about the state of vaping in Thailand and if I could take my e-cig with me. No one in my class knew the answer. None of us have ever been there. A few of my more helpful classmates immediately took to their phones and consulted Google to get me an answer. It didn’t help.

Travel Advisor says that electronic cigarettes are not allowed in Thailand but vapor products are available there. Okay, what does that mean? Some people have stated that their e-cigs were confiscated at customs and they were fined. In fact, there is an image circulating of what appears to be Thai customs officers destroying confiscated electronic cigarettes by crushing them with a steamroller! There are also reports that you can get 5 years in jail for vaping in Thailand! That kind of makes a statement.

Some said they passed through customs and vapes on the streets of Bangkok in front of a police officer with no issue. One person wrote that a police officer actually tried his vape! What is going on here? The state of vaping in Thailand is very confusing. With things like fines and a 5-year jail sentence on the line, I am not about to just wing it based on some conflicting reports. What are the actual vaping laws in Thailand? If like me, you are thinking of traveling to Thailand, you need real answers not a bunch of internet rumors.

Vaping Laws In Thailand

To get a real answer, I called the Royal Thai Consulate in Los Angeles. I left a detailed message regarding vaping in Thailand and asking if I could bring my vape with me. The next day I had a return phone call and the answer was very clear. The answer was no. My vape and e-liquid is not allowed in Thailand and is considered illegal.

No, you can’t bring your electronic cigarette into Thailand. They are illegal.

– Consular Official at Royal Thai Consulate Los Angeles

The Consular official I spoke to was very professional, friendly and very firm. Despite the varying reports out there, I did not detect any gray area expressed in her voice. At all.

In probing for details, I believe that I found out why vaping in Thailand is so confusing. There is no actual law against vaping or vapor products in Thailand. Instead, vapor products fall under customs law in a category called “goods that have not been taxed”.

Here are the applicable laws:

  • Customs Act 27 states that avoiding import duty taxation is tax evasion and against the law. Violating Customs Act 27 is punishable by fines, five years in jail or both. The fines are calculated based on the cost of the products that evaded taxation and they can be steep. The five years in jail is obviously the source of reports of going to jail for vaping.
  • Customs Act 20 gives Thai law enforcement arrest powers without a warrant if you are deemed to be breaking the law. Basically, this provides the legal basis for arresting someone in possession of vapor products. Similar to “probable cause” in the United States.

Can You Buy Vapor Products In Thailand?

young woman vapes a pink vape
Are you ready for a bit more confusion? There are many places that you can buy vapor products in Thailand. You may even see people walking around vaping. The question becomes whether or not you know and can establish that import duties have been paid on your vapor products. I was not able to get a clear answer on how a tourist would be able to provide that proof.

Searching Thai media sources for further information on electronic cigarettes in Thailand, I found a significant lean toward negative publicity. I came across many news articles suggesting that e-cigarettes are just as dangerous as tobacco cigarettes. The smoking rate in Thailand in people over 15 years of age is 21% and rising. A pack of cigarettes in Thailand costs about $4. Get this, the excise tax on imported cigarettes in Thailand was raised to 90% in 2016.

Tobacco cigarettes represent a growing source of revenue for the government. Is that why the local reporting on electronic cigarettes is so negative? Perhaps in the future, the Thai government will ease the stance toward e-cigs and vaping when they are able to implement systems to account for and collect taxes on vapor imports. For the time being, however, don’t take you vape to Thailand.

Don’t Vape in Thailand. Leave Your E-Cigs At Home

We can debate the merits of the vaping laws in Thailand all day. At the end of the day, we are visitors in someone else’s home. Whether or not you can get away with it shouldn’t be a consideration. It was made clear to me by an official from the Royal Thailand Consulate that electronic cigarettes are against the law and not allowed. As visitors to their beautiful country, we should respect that.

That’s really the final analysis. First, we should not abuse the privilege of visiting Thailand by flaunting their laws. Second, there are potential consequences including arrest. Don’t vape in Thailand. Leave your vape gear and e-liquids at home. They will be there waiting for you when you get back.

Published: August 28, 2017Updated: August 7, 2020
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Jeffrey Buckley

I was a smoker for over 25 years. In this time I also earned my medical degree with a specialization in addiction treatment and counseling. That period has led me to vaping, my interest started around 2011. I’m fighting the tide of hysteria and dis-information around vaping that emanates from various fronts legislative, cultural and scientific. Having scientific councils support, I’m happy to contribute my thoughts, articles, and expertise.


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0 comments on “State of Vaping in Thailand

  • Vape Magoo

    December 26, 2018 at 1:00 am

    Ambiguous laws, laws that are not normally enforced leaves one open to exploitation or worse. I won’t be going to Thailand. I will no longer go to Singapore. The strict smoking laws (includes vaping) in the Philippines is one of the reasons I chose not to live there any longer after many years. I really wanted to visit Vietnam, same issue.

  • JoJo

    May 7, 2018 at 12:00 pm

    I just returned form 10 days in Thailand: Bangkok; Ayuattha, Pattaya. I was super stressed out about the vaping ban going over as I really didn;t want to return to my pack a day habit. So, I took a chance and it turned out fine. Not suggesting it will for everyone but here’s what I did. Rather than luggin my big cloud gear, I invested in a souring air and juul. Both of which really just look like batteries when packed in with other electronics and netigher of which produce those tell tale smoke clouds. I put my juice in regualr travel bottles and brought a spare eye dropper. No problems in customs or security, I even pulled them out of my bad and sent them through security on the way out without any comment from the Thai officials. I was discreet using them in the streets but had no problems at all. So, yes, it’s a risk but I suspect far less of one than is being represented on some of these pages.

    • alf

      July 25, 2018 at 10:07 am

      on sukhumvit road in bangkok and walking street in pattaya , police patrol you get arrested dragged in a small room where you wait for a while then the policeman come , you have to go to jail for 5 years i m sorry that s the law show you pictures of foreigner in Bangkok hilton prison , disappear come back telling you he try to find a solution , blabla bla he can help you if you accept to pay 30000 THB , but you an negociate the fine to match all the cash you have with you , it cost me 7000 baht to get out this trap , there s obviously no way you ll end up in jail but they can keep you in this shitty room as long as they want , that happen to me last Saturday , and this business is so juicy there s also police paroling the city on motorcycle in search of “customer” there’s also drug piss test scam , seems like the military took over civilian police business racketing the small shop owners and the police found new incomes source , targeting tourist , dont go to thailand this country is fucked up

  • Oli

    February 28, 2018 at 10:36 am

    Can i take my vape out of thailand on a plane to france

    • K.

      April 30, 2018 at 12:17 pm

      Did you ever had an answered or tried to take it back home? I didn’t know until i got here and someone warned me.. So stopped vaping right away, got rid of most of my liquids but I do want to take my mod back home.. would appreciate an answer thank you (: ..

      • Asian Queen

        August 13, 2018 at 9:56 am

        Yes, you can take ur mod back home with no problem. Make sure disassemble the entire mod & tank. Remove batteries & everything. I just visited the USA & flew into DFW @ Dallas Tx & had NO problems.

  • Anonymous

    February 24, 2018 at 6:23 pm

    I’ve lived in Thailand for over a year now. It is illegal to SELL vaping supplies here. But foreigners who bring it into the country are fine. I’ve brought 2 different mods and then a spare. I’ve been through customs many times and it’s been fine. I’ve even been pulled over by local police for checkpoints and they wave it off.

    There is absolutely no way that you can monitor tens of thousands of tourists that vape in the country. The country would lose a lot of money from tourism. If you get a cop who is in need of money or just wants to be a dick, they may confiscate it, and MAYBE fine you (500 baht), but I’ve never seen it happen and I know a lot of people who vape. When it comes to declarations through customs, 1 or 2 vapes are fine. But if you have more than that and it looks like you’re going to be selling it, then that’s suspicious. You must declare it. But that’s the same with anything.

    Bottom line: as long as you’re not one of those people who flaunt it, you’re fine. Hope this clears up any confusion.

  • gillian

    December 14, 2017 at 4:24 am

    Thanks for the article.

    Do you know whether you can bring Nicorette gum and patches into Thailand? Thanks

  • Michael

    November 4, 2017 at 11:09 pm

    Thailand is not a rich country and relies heavily on its holiday trade. The tax on tobacco based products is high and generates a substantial amount of income. Bringing into the country vape products reduces its ability to generate income from taxation. Us Westerners may feel this a little insignificant, however the Thai government doesn’t, so enjoy their wonderful country and its customs and leave your vapes at home!

    • Oli

      February 28, 2018 at 10:37 am

      Man thailand is the 2 country richest in asean

    • Boris

      November 24, 2018 at 6:30 am

      That doesn’t justify encouraging your citizens to smoke. And who do you think that tax money comes from. It’s not exactly money coming in from outside. The main purchaser of cigarettes in Thailand is Thai people. And as the article states, “The smoking rate in Thailand in people over 15 years of age is 21% and rising”. You can’t possibly justify that by saying “the country needs money”.

  • Caz

    November 4, 2017 at 8:56 am

    What do I do if I’m already in Thailand and have just found out about this law?

  • Slippy dippy

    October 8, 2017 at 11:24 am

    Plenty of thai vape websites running just watch for fake batteries