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Passive smokers at home are suffering ‘domestic abuse’ – new law

Tanutam Thawan

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Smoking in your own home in Thailand may now be considered a crime, if the smoke is considered harmful to other people in the house. The move to ban smoking in homes with other people, and the subsequent inhalation of second-hand smoke, is part of the new Family Protection and Development Promotion Act which will come into force on August 20.

Initiated by the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security, the new laws are aimed at making homes safe from hazards posed by secondhand cigarette smoke, with smoking in the presence of children to be treated as a form of domestic abuse.

According to the centre for research and knowledge management for tobacco control, at the Faculty of Medical Science of Mahidol University, there are about 4.9 million households where one or more family members smoke.

An average of 10.3 million people have unwittingly become passive smokers because they’ve been inhaling smoke at home. Scientific studies show that passive smokers are at greater risk of being affected by cancer.

Of 75 child patients from houses where smoking is practiced, 76% of them were found to have nicotine traces in their urine, with 43% of them having nicotine content exceeding permissible levels.

According to the new law, anyone who thinks they are affected by domestic smoking can report to officials concerned so that inspectors will be sent to investigate and take legal action against the smokers.

 

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