Pat Waterton, manager at Langley Travel, only knew about the ban after she received a message about her nephew, James, who paid a £125 ($161) fine for getting caught with an e-cigarette in Bangkok, Thailand.
“I got a message from my sister saying James had been arrested in Thailand because he had an e-cigarette. He managed to pay the policeman, who had told him he could go to jail. Ten years seems a long time to go to prison for smoking an e-cigarette,” Waterton told Travel Weekly UK.
Following the incident, Waterton is now urging other agencies to tell their customers about Thailand’s strict rule about having or using e-cigarettes.
“If I’m selling Thailand I will definitely mention it now. All agents should. Thailand is very popular so we should make sure we are telling people about things that could ruin a holiday,” she told the publication.
The Foreign Office of the United Kingdom has already advised tourists about the country’s rule against e-cigarettes on its website: “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.”
Sellers and suppliers of vaping products in Thailand may also have to pay a heavy, unspecified fine or face up to five years of prison time.
Thailand first approved the legislation to ban import and export of e-cigarette products in the country in 2014, the Independent reported. The ban has since expanded to prevent sales of vaping devices and equipment.