Positive Thai Findings

Posted 18th May 2023 by Dave Cross
The Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (CAPHRA.org) welcomes the recent findings of the Thai Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health, which conducted a months-long inquiry into Thailand’s ban on e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products (HTPs). The Committee’s report highlights the ineffectiveness of current tobacco control measures in reducing the number of smokers in the country and recommends a shift towards evidence-based policies and Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR) strategies.

The Committee’s report emphasises that the Thai Government should rescind the ban on e-cigarettes and HTPs , adopt a policy of Tobacco Harm Reduction, and revise relevant laws and regulations. It also calls for a more inclusive composition of Thailand’s COP10 delegation, ensuring that the decision-making process is more transparent and inclusive. 

CAPHRA.org believes that the recommendations of the Thai Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health should serve as a wake-up call for countries in the region to re-evaluate their tobacco control policies and recognise the potential benefits of THR strategies. The report’s findings highlight that Thailand is not a leader in tobacco control and that its recommendations at the upcoming COP10 should be viewed with caution.

The Committees also calls for the alignment of excise tax classification for e-cigarettes and HTPs with the World’s Customs Organisation (WCO) 2022 tariff system, reflecting the different risk profiles for non-combusted products. Additionally, the report suggests that the Tobacco Authority of Thailand should explore economic opportunities from commercialising novel tobacco products, including potential benefits for Thai tobacco growers.

CAPHRA.org supports the Committee’s call for an open-ended meeting prior to the FCTC COP10, which would include all relevant authorities and focus on evidence-based policies, Tobacco Harm Reduction, and the US FDA approach in recognising the different level of harm of nicotine-containing products.

Furthermore, CAPHRA.org endorses the Committee’s recommendation for an investigation into conflicts of interest of duties among several eminent members of the National Board of Tobacco Control. Ensuring transparency and integrity in tobacco policy making is essential for the well-being of millions of smokers in the region.

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Last month, Asa Saligupta, director of End Cigarette Smoking Thailand spoke positively to a website: “I’m being hopeful that finally Thailand will embrace the benefits of e-cigarettes. We have seen good signs.”


Banner image © Dave Cross, author

 Dave Cross
Article by Dave Cross
Freelance writer, salad destroyer and live culture convert.
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