Specifically to be targetted are vendors selling alcohol “near communities" and “places of education”.
The new campaign was announced at a meeting held at the Phuket Public Health Office (PPHO) in Phuket Town yesterday (Mar 28), and led by Phuket Vice Governor Thawornwat Kongkaew.
“Relevant offices must pay attention to alcohol beverage and tobacco control, especially shops close to communities and educational places, which must strictly follow alcohol beverage and tobacco law,” V/Gov Thawornwat said.
“This meeting is to set up guidelines to prevent and protect problems about alcohol beverage and tobacco products to follow national strategies and policies of alcohol and national strategies of tobacco control,” he added.
“We are to strictly enforce the law on government offices, state enterprises, educational places, sport stadiums, public parks, temples and factories (to ensure they) are free from alcohol selling and drinking,” V/Gov Thawornwat mandated.
“We are to strictly enforce (the law against) selling alcohol to persons under the age of 20, unlicensed selling of alcohol and checking vendors at fairs,” he said.
At the meeting, V/Gov Thawornwat handed out signs stating, “This place is free of alcohol beverage and tobacco” to representatives from Baan Bangkhu School, Baan Kalim School and Baan Bangtong School.
“These three schools are free from alcohol beverages and tobacco. The Tobacco Control Act 2017 and Alcohol Control Act 2008 state that educational places should be free from alcohol beverages and tobacco,” V/Gov Thawornwat said.
Discourse at the meeting resolved that that licenses to sell alcohol should be limited number in residential communities.
“Licenses have been issued to many shops, so people can access alcohol very easily,” V/Gov Thawornwat noted.
“For tobacco control in Phuket, we follow four national tobacco strategies: develop national tobacco control; prevent new tobacco users by keeping an eye on the tobacco business, especially youth and new users; help addicted users to give up on tobacco’ and keep the environment free of cigarette smoke,” V/Gov Thawornwat explained.
However, in announcing the campaign crackdown, oddly no mention was made of the popular Chillva Market in Samkong, which was caught promoting and selling alcohol again earlier this month after being caught out by officials at New Year for illegally selling alcohol within 300 metres of Samkong School.
In the New Year raid, stall owners at the market even presented to officials alcohol vending licences that had already expired a year earlier in their claims to be able to legally sell alcohol at the market. (See story here.)
In being caught out again earlier this month, Dr Prapa Nakara, who as Director of the PPHO’s Non-communicable Diseases division directly heads the enforcement of alcohol-related regulations on the island, said she would follow up on the issue and notify the police, as she deems it is the police’s responsibility to enforce alcohol laws. (See story here.)
Of note, police officers were present at the meeting yesterday.