Looks like our border sharing-neighbour country Thailand has joined the bandwagon on imposing smoking ban a month after Malaysia implemented the similar ban at eateries.
According to China Press, Thai’s Public Health Ministry has made that public places and public transportation are now non-smoking areas starting Feb 3. With that, the governments require smokers to follow this new law or face the music.
Furthermore, Thailand has made that if a smoker wants to smoke in these areas, they have to be 5 meters away from the non-smoking areas. It is further than Malaysia’s 3-metre rule.
As reported by The Thaiger, when the Thai government announced the ban last November, smoking offenders will be slapped with a 5,000 baht (RM653.40) fine. Thailand’s deputy general director of the Department of Disease Control, Doctor Kajonsak Kaewjara announced the following places and areas as non-smoking zones:
- rental buildings,
- religious buildings,
- karaoke establishments,
- parking areas,
- areas for Thai massage,
- swimming pools,
- fitness parks,
- clinics, and
- ‘other places’.
The gazettement stated that public places, public transportation, office premises of public and private enterprises are all non-smoking zone, including any areas 5 meters away from parks, markets and gas stations. Smokers are also not allowed to smoke inside or above the buildings, as well as at the beach.
If caught smoking at the beach, the fine goes up to 100,000 baht (RM13,063), a year imprisonment, or both, Independent UK reported.
In addition, the new law also stated there will be designated smoking areas which will be located within the compound. Universities, government agencies, state-owned enterprises, and airports are allowed to set up smoking areas outside buildings in accordance with relevant laws.
The Director of the Department of Disease Control and Prevention of Thailand hosted a non-smoking campaign in Chatuchak Market, Bangkok on Saturday (Feb 2), a day before the implication of the ban. The event informed the public about the new smoking bans and to raise public awareness of the ban on smoking. A no-smoking sign was also displayed at the entrance of the market.
The event was supported by a number of agencies including the Bangkok Market Management Office and the Smoking Campaign Foundation.