Smokers in Thailand may soon be prosecuted for lighting up at home under new laws which will come into force on 20th August 2019.
The new laws, which were published in the Royal Gazette on 22nd May, aim to reduce the impact of second hand smoke on family members, particularly children.
People who smoke at home face being charged with domestic abuse if found guilty that them smoking has damaged the health of family members living at the same address.
Complaints about smokers can be made at Family and Protection Centres which are present in all provinces throughout Thailand. Cases will then be submitted to Juvenile and Family Courts.
If, for example, a family member develops a health condition such as asthma, a smoker who lives in the house faces being charged with domestic abuse.
The new laws were confirmed to Thairath by Lertpanya Buranabantit, director-general of the Department of Women and Family Affairs.
People commenting on a news report posted on YouTube by Spring News said it would be better to just ban smoking in Thailand altogether than attempt to enforce the new law.
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.
(Source: – Thai Visa News)