Thailand’s government has announced strict new laws regarding smoking in public places, while at the same increasing the price of a packet of cigarettes. Under the new measures, which were first proposed by the Department of Public Health in 2017 and came into force last month, smokers are no longer allowed to light up within five meters of the entrance to virtually all buildings.
The new rules apply to both private and public buildings including offices, hospitals, schools, shopping malls and condominiums. Smoking is also not permitted in public parks, markets, bus stops, hotels, bars and restaurants.
Anyone who is caught smoking in a non-designated area can be fined up to 5,000 baht, officials said. In addition, Airports of Thailand Plc has announced the smoking rooms at six airports in Thailand will also be closed. The six airports are Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang, Phuket, Chiang Mai, Hat Yai and Mae Fah Luang. Passengers wishing to smoke can now only do so outside the terminal building, airport officials said. Meanwhile, it has also been announced that the price of some brands of cigarettes in Thailand is set to rise. From October, all cheap brands produced by the Thai Tobacco Monopoly will increase from 60 baht to 93 baht per pack.
The new prices are said to be in response to the state’s new excise tax rates that means prices must increase by 40%. Thai authorities are now carrying out a concerted effort nationwide to ensure the rules are known and enforced.