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New tobacco control law passed, 20 now minimum age for buying tobacco

The National Legislative Assembly on Friday passed the final reading of the Tobacco Control Bill, which raises the minimum age to legally buy cigarettes from 18 to 20 years and bans the sale of individual cigarettes.

drugs, politics,


Bangkok Post

Saturday 4 March 2017, 09:28AM


Anti-tobacco activists pose with their posters during a past campaign. The National Legislative Assembly on Friday passed amendments to the Tobacco Control Bill, aimed at reducing the number of people taking up the habit. Photo: Jiraporn Kuhakan
Anti-tobacco activists pose with their posters during a past campaign. The National Legislative Assembly on Friday passed amendments to the Tobacco Control Bill, aimed at reducing the number of people taking up the habit. Photo: Jiraporn Kuhakan

The assembly unanimously endorsed the bill, which amends the Tobacco Control Act, with 202 votes debating it for nearly eight hours on Thursday and Friday.

The bill is aimed at better control of tobacco products and protecting people's health in line with Thailand's adoption of the World Health Organisation's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. The convention emphasises the protection of public health, especially the young.

 The bill provides for a national committee on tobacco control. The public health minister will chair the panel, which will propose measures to control tobacco products, protect non-smokers' health and rehabilitate smokers' health.

The new law prohibits the sale or provision of tobacco products to people aged under 20, instead of under 18 as previously. Violators are liable to a prison term of up to three months and/or a fine of up to B30,000.

It bans the production and sales-oriented importation of packs containing fewer than 20 cigarettes. Violators can be fined up to B300,000.

In addition, the law prohibits the sale of individual cigarettes instead of packs of 20. The penalty is a fine up to B40,000.

The NLA's scrutiny committee deleted a clause in the bill that banned smokers from being appointed an expert member of the national tobacco control committee, to avoid discrimination.

Dr Jate Sirataranont, NLA member and head of the scrutiny committee, said the new law is expected to reduce the number of new smokers by an estimated 200,000 a year.

The new restrictions become effective once published in the Royal Gazette.

 

 

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CaptainJack69 | 04 March 2017 - 13:01:37

The last major reform in tobacco sales required that the actual packets not be visible at the point of sale. That's why every 7-11 and FamilyMart in the country had to install 'vanity screens' over their sales shelves.

Today you can walk into any 7-11 or FamilyMart in the country and see those vanity screens left wide open, with the cigarettes back on permanent display. Why, because of the total lack of enforcement.

Appearance trumps substance. Publicize public health laws, but don't enforce them. Make sure the people of Thailand continue in their understanding that nothing the authorities say will ever actually happen.

That's progress... oh wait a minute.

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