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New 2010 regulation makes all public buildings non air-conditioned eating places and other public places smoke-free and moves Thailand closer to a 100% smoke free country

Thai no smoking signOn February 27th, Minister of Public Health Jurin Laksanawisit signed a new regulation which makes educational centers, banks, religious places, sports complexes, offices, non air-conditioned eating places, outdoor public places including parks and hospitals completely smoke-free. Jurin said the new measures were taken to fulfill Thailand’s obligation to WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) – under which member countries are required to create 100% smoke-free environments, within 5 years of the entry into force of the convention, which falls on Feb 27 this year. Designated smoking rooms will no longer be permitted in any buildings that are public according to Thai law. This applies to every public building, government as well as private throughout Thailand, with the exception of eight international airports in Thailand, where separately ventilated smoking rooms are currently allowed.

Outdoor smoking zones are permitted on the grounds around public and private building as specified in the regulation, but not indoors. The designated smoking area (DSA) must comply with ministerial regulation, i.e., must not be at or near the entrance to public places, not be in an openly visible spot, and not cause annoyance to other people.
These new regulations will take effect after publication in the Royal Gazette and a 90 day preparatory, educational period, beginning approximately June 2010. Lawbreakers, are subject to a 2,000 Baht fine ($60) for violation by smokers and a 20,000 Baht fine ($600) for owners of premises who fail to comply with the regulation.

Posted by Prakit Vathesatogkit, Action on Smoking and Health Foundation, Bangkok, Thailand

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