Smokeless tobacco products are not allowed to be produced and imported
DISCOVERING SMOKELESS TOBACCO PRODUCTS BY CHANCE
After having retired from government service since the end of September 1989 Dr. Hatai Chitanondh still assumed the post of Secretary of the National Committee for the Control of Tobacco Use (NCCTU). Meanwhile, he had a private clinic at Sukhumvit Road, Lane Nana Tai which opened for service only on Tuesdays and Fridays, from 17.00 to 20.00 p.m.
One afternoon in June 1992, he arrived at the clinic quite early and decided to take a stroll along Sukhumvit road where a large number of foreigners stayed in the hotels in the neighborhood. At the entrance of Nana Tai lane there was a drugstore where Dr. Chitanondh noticed that they have some flat boxes of smokeless tobacco under the brand name “Skoal” with the tobacco excise stamp fixed upon them. he then asked the vendor to whom he sold the products which he said that they were for foreign tourists.
Dr.Chitanondh believed that in Thailand no one knew that there were “smokeless tobacco” existed in the market. Nobody knew about the deadly toxicity and danger of this type of tobacco products whereby a large number of American youths were lured to be its preys. When it appeared to his own eyes that this type of product was being sold legally he then contacted the Director of Tobacco Division of the Excise Department for clarification. He told Dr. Chitanondh that the “Skoal” smokeless cigarettes received import permit and authorized their distribution in the market. In the beginning when Dr. Chitanondh raise the question concerning the “smokeless tobacco” he could not give any answer as he himself had not heard or used this term but after Dr. Chitanondh explained to him about how it looked like and its brand name he then mentioned that it was the “chewing” product.