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online cigarettes risk kids health

Thanyasarun Sangthong, director of the Thai Tobacco Trade Association (TTTA), claimed that the low costs of operation and the ability to evade customs or law enforcement inspection had contributed to the online popularity of illicit tobacco goods.

Meanwhile, she added, “illegal tobacco vendors may reach as many different customer groups [online] as they wish.

According to Thanyasarun, who cited data from a TTTA survey, the amount of illicit tobacco traded online increased 97% between July and September of last year.

The spike in unlawful online trade is blamed on contraband cigarettes carried over the border to dodge tax duty before being sold via the internet.

She claimed that Twitter accounted for 91% of illegal cigarette trades, with Facebook coming in at 9%.

“The inexpensive pricing compared to legal products, the taste, and the convenient trade routes are three reasons why illegal tobacco is popular among netizens,” she said.

In contrast to their legitimate counterparts, illegal online vendors are also free to market their goods or lower their pricing, she continued.

The Excise Department, Finance Ministry, and Technology Crime Suppression Division were urged by the TTA’s head to take immediate action against the expanding illicit online tobacco trade.

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