Number of no-smoking zones expanded, 03/03/10

Educational centres, banks, religious places, sports complexes and hospitals will be turned into no-smoking zones in the next four months, Public Health Minister Jurin Laksanawisit, said yesterday.

According to the Public Health Ministry’s announcement on February 27, smoking would be prohibited inside all public buildings, apart from open-air areas.  Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport is the only public area where a smoking zone will be allowed inside.  Educational institutes, petrol stations, offices and state agencies will be allowed to set up outside smoking areas.

 Director of the Department of Diseases Control’s Office of Alcohol Beverage and Tobacco Control, Dr Churit Tengtriseng, said smoking inside condominium buildings would be totally banned in the future.

 At present, condominium residents are only allowed to smoke inside their rooms, while smoking on balconies is prohibited.  The ministerial announcement will go into effect in the next four months and those violating the law will be fined Bt2,000 each.

 Jurin said the new measures were taken to commemorate the 5th anniversary of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) – under which member countries are encouraged to ban tobacco advertising and create a smoke-free environment.

 Churit, meanwhile, said the ministry would also take other measures such as making the images displayed on cigarette packages larger as well as adding new and more graphic illustrations. Lawbreakers can be reported at the 1600 hotline.

Smoke-free zones

:Smoking is prohibited in health-care units, veterinary clinics, educational centres, religious centres, both inside and outside sports centres. Open-air smoking areas can be set up. Lawbreakers will be fined Bt2,000.

:Smoking is prohibited in Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport. A smoking zone inside the building can be set up. Lawbreakers will be fined Bt2,000.

: Smoking is prohibited inside educational institutes, offices, state agencies or petrol stations. Specific smoking areas can be set up outside. Lawbreakers will be fined Bt2,000.

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