New law to prevent smoking at home

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A new law which will be enforced on August 20, 2019 will target family members who smoke at home, the Thai-language daily Khao Sod reported 3 days ago. (June 20, 2019).

In an interview with the newspaper, Mr Lertpanya Buranabantit, who is director-general of the Department of Women and Family Affairs, said people who smoke at home cause problems for family members. A lot of smokers who are forced to quit smoking often become aggressive and may take violent action against family members.

Under the new law, people who smoke at home are guilty of harming the health of family members. Smokers who physically harm family members will face criminal charges.

This is the latest in a number of measures announced by the government to curb cigarette smoking in Thailand.

In February, it was announced that smokers are no longer allowed to smoke outside public buildings such as condos, offices, hotels, bars, restaurants and shopping malls. Smokers can not light up within 5 metres of the entrances of public buildings. Doing so could mean a fine of up to 5,000 baht.

Also in February it was announced that smoking has been banned at six airports in Thailand. Smoking rooms have been removed Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang, Phuket, Chiang Mai, Hat Yai and Mae Fah Luang airports, with smokers now only permitted to smoke in special smoking zones located outside terminal buildings.

Since February 2018, smoking has been banned at beaches in Thailand. Smokers can only light up dedicated smoking zones and not on the beach. Over 10 million people in Thailand are smokers.

Health officials say smokers in Thailand face having their life expectancy cut short by about 18 years and that 72,000 people die from the effects of smoking each year.

The financial cost of treating people suffering from smoking related to diseases is about Bt220 billion annually, according to Mahidol University’s Faculty of Medicine.

However, tax revenue raised from cigarettes totals just Bt68.6 billion.

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