Agents are being urged to warn customers about a Thai law that prohibits e-cigarettes being brought into the country.
Pat Waterton, manager at Langley Travel, said she was unaware of the ban until her nephew, James, paid a £125 ‘fine’ after being threatened with jail for having an e-cig in Bangkok.
Advice on the Foreign Office website includes a paragraph stating: “These items are likely to be confiscated and you could be fined or sent to prison for up to 10 years if convicted.”
Waterton said: “I got a message from my sister saying James had been arrested in Thailand because he had an e-cigarette. He managed to pay the policeman, who had told him he could go to jail. Ten years seems a long time to go to prison for smoking an e-cigarette.”
A spokesman for the Tourism Authority of Thailand reiterated the UK government’s advice, warning tourists not to bring e-cigarettes into the country.
Waterton said: “If I’m selling Thailand I will definitely mention it now. All agents should. Thailand is very popular so we should make sure we are telling people about things that could ruin a holiday.”
Aspen Travel sales consultant Yvonne Montgomery said: “I would probably mention it now. The last thing we want is our customers getting locked up.”
Premier Holidays managing director Susan Papworth said: “Thailand is a big destination for us and since the law has come into force about e-cigarettes we are incorporating the country’s customs and immigration information into all our customers’ itineraries.
“We haven’t seen any impact on bookings, but strongly advise that all agents pass on this advice to their customers.”