Lonely Planet Writer

Don't forget to leave your electronic cigarette at home if you’re heading to Thailand

Electronic cigarettes are hugely popular among those trying to give up smoking, but travellers may be unaware that they’re banned in Thailand. Visitors are being reminded that vaporisers like e-cigarettes and e-baraku may be confiscated, and those who flout the law could be fined or imprisoned.

Vaping is banned by law in Thailand. Image: B. Boissonnet

Given that a survey found that 8.3% of people take vaping devices on holidays, this is bad news for a lot of people. It has been widely reported that Thailand approved legislation banning the import of electronic cigarettes and baraku in October 2014 , defining them as prohibited items. The sale or supply has also been banned, but some travellers are unaware of this and continue to vape while in the country. A UK-based travel agent and manager at Langley Travel, Pat Waterton, told Travel Weekly UK that her nephew was arrested and fined £125 ($161) for having an e-cigarette in Bangkok. He was also warned that he could have faced prison.

A long tail boat in Krabi, Thailand. Image: Teradat Santivivut/Getty Images

Travellers may be unaware of the ruling because some countries don’t have it listed in the advice sections of their foreign affairs offices. The UK Foreign Office is certainly aware however, as it clearly warns travellers of potential consequences. This is possibly because it reports that several British nationals have already been arrested in Thailand for possession of vaporisers and e-cigarettes. “These items are likely to be confiscated and you could be fined or sent to prison for up to 10 years if convicted,” it warns.

A survey found that 8.3% of people take vaping devices on holidays. Image: Theerawat Kaiphanlert

So if you want to avoid potential trouble while travelling around Thailand, it would be advisable to leave the electronic cigarettes behind and stock up on alternative, legal methods to help you cope with not smoking. Otherwise, you could risk ruining your holiday and nobody wants that.