In recent weeks, arrests and seizures of vaping products have been multiply in Thailand. In many countries, there is some concern and some travel agencies are more willing to give guidelines to people wishing to go there. If we currently have an external vision on the situation of vaping in Thailand, for you, our editorial met with Julien, an expatriate who presented us his experience of vaping in the heart of the country of the smile.
INTERVIEW: « AS A VAPOR, I FEEL LIKE A DRUG«
Rédaction : Can you tell me what is the real situation in Thailand regarding vaping ? Is there a witch hunt? ?
Julien : No, it's very exaggerated, I do not think we can talk about witch hunting. I'm a vaper, I have three neighbors who are too, and we have not had a problem at the moment. Obviously with all that is said currently I do not use my e-cigarette on the street as I could do with a cigarette for example.
Rédaction : Okay, so we can say that by remaining discreet we strongly limit the risks with the authorities ?
Julien : Yes, clearly. For my part, I vape in places near my home or in some very tourist places. It should be known that in Thailand, when there is no police, it vapote everywhere and on big equipment (mechanical mods, drippers ...). But it is true that as a vaper, I feel stunned, considered a drug addict if I vape in a bar for example. So I avoid putting my equipment on a table when I'm in public.
Yet it's quite paradoxical because there is a lot of place where you can buy equipment.
Rédaction : What do you think of what happened with the Swiss vapoteur a few days ago ?
Julien : Unfortunately, I think he came across the bad policeman, you know I even saw police vape so that's to say. After I should not say too much but here things often arrange with a small ticket. For example, a driver's license defect whether it is car or motorcycle (even big cubes) is 25 euros.
Rédaction : What advice could you give to the vapers who wish to go on the spot? ?
Julien : In all honesty, a tourist who dismounts all his equipment loose parts in his bag and remains discreet can vape here. When I left to live in this country I was totally paranoid! To tell you, I brought over a liter of neutral base in bottles of water, my aromas in bottles Yves Rocher, I planned the shot to hold 9 months until my return. By cons it is clear that here it does not laugh, it's often not seen, not taken! The really important thing is not to go to the streets!
Rédaction : We still remain in a rather extreme step ... A little as if we were passing drugs no ?
Julien : It's actually my feeling, I'm pretty quiet in the neighborhood where I live but I always feel like an outlaw or a drug addict, as if I smoked a joint.
Rédaction : And about the communication about vaping in the country, has there been any changes lately? ?
Julien : No, no change! Here, vaping is not forbidden, the e-cigarette is just not regulated so not taxed and so it is something very serious with respect to the law. To be honest, I'm gnawing because if the law changes, I'll be the first farang (foreigner in Thailand) to open my shop.
Rédaction : And you feel that the law could change on the subject ?
Julien : Given the instability of the country, I think that currently it will not change. For the moment, the authorities are mainly dealing with the problem of counterfeit clothing and shoes, it is a big job. But as the Thai say, nothing is impossible! When you walk around here, you see shops or vape kiosks everywhere.
Rédaction : It is assumed that a tourist must avoid approaching it in view of the situation ?
Julien : I talked to these sellers and I saw lots of tourists buying equipment. For my part, I never bought anything because the price is exorbitant. Let's say that these "shops" are lucky at the moment or they have enough money to have no worries, I could not tell you.
Thank you Julien for taking the time to answer us and to have enlightened the situation by your lived on the spot.