TAT highlights anti-smoking laws in Thailand
Bangkok – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is reminding visitors to the Kingdom of its ‘no smoking’ in public areas laws, which are part of its Tobacco Control Law, that aims to promote a safe, clean and smoke-free environment for all.
Travellers coming to Thailand should also be aware that electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes or ‘vaping’) as well as shisha smoking and electronic shishas, are all illegal in the Kingdom.”
There have been recent incidents of foreign travellers who were unaware of the ban facing an on-the-spot fine or being arrested. The ban was introduced in 2014 by the Thai Government for health reasons and that electronic cigarettes and shishas were luring young people into smoking.
Thus, travellers coming to Thailand are advised not to bring any electronic cigarettes or electronic shishas with them, nor any item or equipment associated with e-cigarettes including the ‘juice’ used in the device.
Likewise, travel agents or tour operators selling Thailand as a destination should make sure their clients are aware of the ban in place on electronic cigarettes, shisha smoking and electronic shishas.
The Ministry of Tourism and Sports is also working closely with tour companies and guides to seek cooperation from tourists not to smoke in prohibited areas, especially at airports, sports complexes and tourist attractions nationwide.
Outdoor places where smoking is prohibited include exercise or sports training facilities, sporting venues or competitions of any kind, public parks, zoos, amusement parks, children’s playgrounds, and markets. Tourists travelling with guided tour groups are required to strictly follow this new rule and regulation.
Thailand became a party to the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control on 27 February, 2005. Since then, the country has become one of the world’s forerunners in the fight to ban smoking from almost all indoor public places, indoor workplaces, and public transport. This includes the smoking ban on Thai beaches across the country, which came into effect in November 2017, as part of the country’s sustainable tourism efforts.
Six Thai airports, Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang, Phuket, Chiang Mai, Hat Yai and Mae Fah Luang Chiang Rai, all operated and managed by the Airports of Thailand (AOT), were declared no smoking zones from 3 February 2019 with all smoking rooms inside the terminals were closed since then.
According to AOT, the move to close all smoking rooms is in line with the 2017 Tobacco Control Act. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Public Health’s official announcement in November 2018, has also listed ‘public areas of airports’ among several new zones where smoking of tobacco is prohibited and carry a fine of up to 5,000 Baht per violation.
TAT understands that AOT has designated smoking areas outside the terminals. For more information, tourists and travellers passing through these six airports are advised to contact the AOT Contact Centre by calling Tel.: 1722 or visit the airport information counter.