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Thailand’s ‘smoking toll’ is three times the annual road toll

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Thailand’s ‘smoking toll’ is three times the annual road toll | The Thaiger
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Smoking kills more than 72,000 people a year in Thailand, three times the number of people that die on the local roads.

Dr Roengrudee Patanavanich, from Mahidol University’s Faculty of Medicine Ramathibodi Hospital, speaking at a media conference yesterday, says… “Diseases associated with smoking such as lung cancer, emphysema, lung inflammation and tuberculosis are the main killers.”

“Thailand had 10.7 million smokers in 2017, of whom 72,565 succumbed to smoking-related diseases. On average, they lost about 18 years of their life.”

“The cost of treatment was about 77.6 billion baht a year and the cost of lost income opportunities as a result of illnesses was 11.8 billion baht a year. ”

“In total, smoking has caused financial losses of about 220 billion baht a year,” Roengrudee said, emphasising the loss was much higher than the cigarette taxes that the government could collect.

Disease Control Department director-general Dr Suwannachai Wattanayingcharoenchai said cigarette smoke was dangerous not just for smokers but also for others.

“Just one inhalation of second-hand smoke brings hundreds of toxins into lungs,” he said.

Professor Dr Prakit Vathesatogkit, secretary-general of the Action on Smoking and Health Foundation Thailand, credited the late General Prem Tinsulanonda for initiating tobacco control in the country.

“In 1988, he assigned the Public Health Ministry to draw up a tobacco-control plan. Back then, there was no law to ban smoking but Prem banned smoking at Government House,” Prakit said.

Public Health Minister Dr Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn said it was worrying that a significant number of children started smoking at the age of just 10. He said the government had lately introduced stricter measures to curb smoking in the country. For example, vehicles, offices and all public places are now declared smoke-free.

SOURCE: The Nation

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The Thai government threw a tourist party (sound of crickets) | VIDEO

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The Thai government threw a tourist party (sound of crickets) | VIDEO | The Thaiger

The Thai Government, flushed with the success of their containment of Covid-19, decided to market the Land of Smiles to the world as the safe place to travel. With the annual wet season starting to weaken the tourists would flock back to the S E Asian country that had such a remarkable success containing, then almost eradicating itself, of the coronavirus.

Then they came up with the STV – the special tourist visa which would have the world’s eager travellers packing their sun cream for up to 270 days of Thai tourism.

There were promises of plane loads of tourists and even published flights and carriers. A few flights arrived, most didn’t.

In fact, since the start of the STV, the Special Tourist Visa, with its long list of restrictions and requirements, was floated, along with a re-vamped Tourist Visa, less than 400 people have arrived per month, on average, since the end of October. In the October and November of the year before more than 3 million people arrived in Thailand. Even the government’s limit of 1,200 new tourist arrivals per month was even slightly tested.

The government had bought all the streamers and a pretty new dress for the party but no one came.

What went wrong?

Where was the much-anticipated pent-up demand and people banging on the doors of the world’s Thai embassies?

It was the European winter and the ‘snowbirds’ would surely be back to soak in some Thai sun rays. But no.

The first problem was there wasn’t much for them to come back to. They would have the beaches of the islands all to themselves, they wouldn’t have to wait in line for anything, the domestic airlines were still selling low fares to Tavel anywhere around the country.

But otherwise there wasn’t a lot for them to do. The tourism magnets were a shadow of their former selves. Walking Street, Bangla Road, tours and tour boats, all the tourist strip restaurants. The buzz of the crowds was gone and more than 90% of the tourist-related business had closed up.

Their staff, their families, their bank loans, their stock and investments – all on hold and forced to find come other means to make ends meet. 931 of some of the larger official tourism operators have now gone out of business, according to Bloomberg News. There would be thousands of the smaller family operations that have also been swept aside by the Thai government’s responses to the world pandemic.

 

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Myanmar cancels Thai investment in the Dawei Special Economic Zone

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Myanmar cancels Thai investment in the Dawei Special Economic Zone | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Environment Justice Atlas

The Dawei Special Economic Zone Management Committee has announced the cancellation on the deep seaport project contract with Italian-Thai Development (ITD), one of Thailand’s leading industrial firms, by saying that they “lost confidence” in the company after long, controversial issues.

The Dawei Special Economic Zone Management Committee said that the Thai company has caused them “repeated delays, continuing breaches of financial obligations under the contracts and the concessionaires’ failure to confirm their financial capacity to proceed with development”.

They say they will look for new development partners to continue the projects. Currently, there are still no comments from ITD.

The Dawei Special Economic Zone is Myanmar’s initiative to encourage international investments into the country, but the project has been delayed because of funding problems and local opposition.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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SRT studies alternative plans for Bang Sue Grand Station after no show of interested bidders

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SRT studies alternative plans for Bang Sue Grand Station after no show of interested bidders | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Bang Sue Grand Station

There seems to be little interest in the new Bang Sue Grand Station project, which is planned to be Thailand’s new railway hub in place of Bangkok’s Hua Lamphong Railway Station and the largest railway station is Southeast Asia. Bidding for the station’s Plot A opened 3 weeks ago, with envelopes each costing 500,000 baht, but not one was sold.

With the bidding closing in January and no interest so far, the State Railway of Thailand is finding alternative plans for the Bang Sue Grand Station’s Plot A, a source told Nation Thailand.

“It is believed that nobody has shown interest in the project because of the new wave of Covid-19 infections. Also the Plot A project has low potential for commercial profit as an elevated expressway passes over it and it has limited access.”

If no one buys a bidding envelope in the next 10 days, then the bidding will close and the SRT will make changes to Plot A’s development plan. The source told Nation Thailand that railway officials might make the site a SRT office building or let other state agencies rent the land, which would not require any more bidding.

SRT is also studying any possibility to pack Plot A into Plot E which has a greater potential for commercial profit and may attract more bidders.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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