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With 12 million smokers in Thailand, health experts have pressed for tougher laws to reduce the number of smokers in the country, as well as noting that even e-cigarettes are harmful to health. Smoking has been blamed for many health problems such as paralysis, cancer, heart failure and strokes.
Imposing a higher tax on cigarettes has been suggested by Dr. Prakit Vathesatogkit, the executive secretary for the Action on Smoking Health Foundation of Thailand. He hopes that a higher price will be an effective way to curb smoking.
The Disease Control Department deputy director Nopporn Chuenklin highlighted the need to control the relatively new electronic cigarettes, he said “these are new products that are not fully covered by the Tobacco Control Act. This act was passed more than twenty years ago” he added that the department had prepared a new version of the act and would ask the National Council for Peace and Order to approve it.
Dr Suthat Rungruanghiranya, a specialist in respiratory and critical care medicine at Srinakharinwirot University, said when compared with a common cigarette, an “electronic” or e-cigarette usually contained much higher nicotine. “When you smoke one ‘electronic’ cigarette, you take in an amount of nicotine similar to that from six common cigarettes,” he said.
Nicotine is an addictive agent that harms blood vessels. Diabetics who smoke have a greater risk of developing chronic wounds and amputation, while male smokers risks impotence. He went on to say that an excessive intake of nicotine can cause death and that electronic cigarettes are carcinogenic, the idea that they save smokers from cancer is untrue, he also dismissed claims that e-cigarettes would ease the addiction, the devices contain nicotine he added. Prakit said to lower the number of smokers, laws must get tougher and anti-smoking campaigns must continue