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On Tuesday Thailand’s Cabinet approved a ban on the import of electronic cigarettes and hookah style water pipes, a move that was also made by neighboring Cambodia earlier on this year.
According to Maj. Gen Sansern Kaewkamnerd, the deputy government spokesman, the ban proposed by the Commerce Ministry was imposed for health reasons originally as the items were luring young people into smoking.
The ban also applies to any substances that could be used to flavor the water used in water pipes, also known as baraku which currently is sill legal in areas where smoking is allowed. Those violating the new ban will face a maximum of ten years in jail or a fine of five times the value of the product, or both.
In February Cambodia banned both the import, promotion and sale of e-cigarettes and shisha tobacco. 27 states in the USA have passed legislation prohibiting the sale of e-cigarettes to minors, advocates of e-cigarettes say they can help smokers quit tobacco, however others believe they will get young people addicted to nicotine in the same way cigarettes do.