Connect with us


PM urged to drop tobacco control bill




– Thailand news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

PM urged to drop tobacco control bill
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: Tobacco farmer associations have urged Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha to put a brake on the tobacco control bill, which is now on its way to a Cabinet meeting.

The bill, if legislated, would increase the minimum age of cigarette buyers from 18 to 20 years, ban the sale of packet-less cigarettes, and prohibit the display of cigarettes at shops and stores.

The associations are fighting against the bill on grounds it threatens to hurt the country’s tobacco industry and adversely affect all involved – from tobacco farmers, retailers, importers to manufacturers.

“The drafting of the bill does not take into account our opinions,” the associations’ co-ordinator Kittitas Panaphathong said.

He said tobacco farmers had expressed opposition to the bill since its drafting began in 2012 because it would prescribe too harsh measures.

“Please withdraw it from the Cabinet meeting. Please consult all relevant parties first,” he said.

His group submitted the petition through a complaint-receiving office of the Ministry of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives.

The move followed a walkout by tobacco farmers’ representatives at a meeting with ministers on Monday.

Present at the meeting were Public Health Minister Rajata Rajatanavin and Deputy Agriculture and Cooperative Minister Amnuay Patise.

Thai Tobacco Trade Association’s executive Varaporn Namat said while her group had nothing against increasing the minimum age of cigarette buyers, it could not understand why the bill would try to ban the sale of packet-less cigarettes and display of cigarettes.

“Some smokers have tried to cut down on smoking by not buying the whole packet of cigarettes. On the display of cigarettes, I must note that the Public Health Ministry already requires cigarette packets to have large pictorial warnings about adverse health impacts from smoking,” she said.

Kris Phathong, who heads the Tobacco Farmers and Traders Association of Chiang Mai, lamented that authorities should ask for opinions from growers.

Rajata, however, defended the bill saying that if it took effect, it would likely reduce the number of new young smokers by 100,000 a year. “Research shows if we can prevent children from smoking, we will be able to save 156,000 baht [per person] in medical costs and economic losses,” he said.

Laryngetomees Association in Thailand president Karun Trakoolpadejkrai insisted the bill should go ahead because current laws have not kept pace with cigarette firms’ new strategies. His group and many medical associations support the tobacco control bill.

“I don’t want to see children suffer from smoking dangers,” Karun said. Many people lose their larynx because of smoking, he said.

Prof Somsri Pausawasdi, who chairs a group for a smoking-free Thailand, said more than 100,000 people had signed their names in support of the bill. “Our network has about 700 organizational members and allies.”

Asst Prof Lakkhana Termsirikulchai, a former lecturer at Mahidol University, said the bill would not really affect growers as more than half of Thai tobacco is exported.

— Phuket Gazette Editors


Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

World11 hours ago

Kanye West’s “White Lives Matter” shirt at Paris Fashion Week

Thailand12 hours ago

Tangmo defendant repays vow with 5-metre Ultraman figure

Bangkok12 hours ago

Bangkok asks companies to let employees work from home until October 7

Thailand12 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Prime minister’s achievements since coming back to the office

Best of12 hours ago

Revealed: the best rooftop bars in the world

Thailand13 hours ago

Father & 2 year old son shot in Chiang Mai

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Pattaya13 hours ago

Officials predict over 100,000 people at Pattaya International Fireworks Festival

Thailand13 hours ago

Six-legged golden frog brings good fortune in northern Thailand

Tourism13 hours ago

British Embassy Bangkok to hold a conference on tourism safety and security

Thailand13 hours ago

Mother seeks justice after a monk slapped her son

Expats14 hours ago

Bangkok ranked one of top 5 expat cities

Thailand14 hours ago

Woman abandons home after police ignore four burglaries

Thailand14 hours ago

VIDEO: Brave citizens save delivery driver swept away by floods in northeast Thailand

Chiang Mai14 hours ago

Chiang Mai wakes up to a flooded city district

World15 hours ago

Japanese warned to take cover over North Korea missile test

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 years ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11