Seminar: Unveiling the Surge of E-cigarette Epidemic among Thai Youth

Nonthaburi: On January 23, 2024, the Center for Research and Knowledge Management for Tobacco Control, in collaboration with the WHO FCTC Knowledge Hub for Article 5.3 and its tobacco control network partners, organized a seminar titled “Unveiling the Surge of E-cigarette Epidemic among Thai Youth” at the Grand Richmond Hotel.

E-cigarette use among children is a global issue, with reports of usage starting as early as primary school, following a recent survey that discovered the rate of e-cigarette usage among Thai youths had reached 17.6%, marking a 5.3-fold increase from 2015 to 2022. There is a lack of awareness among teachers and parents, who are unaware of the dangers of e-cigarettes. The manufacturers targeting children with product designs and emphasizing online sales are highlighted. Instructional clips on platforms like TikTok accelerate the spread of e-cigarettes. Countries like Indonesia and the Philippines are facing epidemics, with 49% of youths using e-cigarettes in Indonesia and over 16,000 online stores in the Philippines. Thailand, like Singapore, has successfully banned e-cigarette sales due to stringent law enforcement, fines, and targeted social media campaigns.

To ensure a healthier future for our youth, we must stand firm against tobacco industry interference. By advocating for the enforcement of strict regulations similar to Singapore’s model and educating the public on the industry’s tactics, we can prevent the normalization of e-cigarette use among children and adolescents. Together, we must prioritize the health and well-being of our younger generations over the tobacco industry’s interests. Let’s unite in the fight against tobacco industry interference to secure a smoke-free future for all.