Phuket

Anti-smoking “cops’ to get tough

PHUKET: To mark the first anniversary of the ban on smoking in public venues, officials from the Phuket Provincial Health Office (PPHO) will scour the island from November 8 to purge Phuket of persistent puffers. Acting Chief PPHO Somboon Aiyarak today said that from midnight on November 7, PPHO officers will enforce the ban more stringently than they have during its inaugural year, with special attention given to ensuring that government offices and places of education are smoke-free. “Our regulations remain the same, but we will check more places. During the past year, we’ve received good feedback from both patrons and venue owners, and I think people still need this campaign,” he said. K. Somboon explained that people found breaking the ban will be fined 2,000 baht, while the venue owner will face a 20,000-baht fine. “We have never imposed the fines in Phuket. At first, [venue owners] were afraid they would not have any customers after the ban began, but now it has been shown that people are willing to cooperate with it,” he said. “In the next three to five years, if we enforce this campaign seriously, and continually, we may have no-smoking discotheques or pubs in Phuket or Thailand,” he added. For details of venues where smoking is banned under the Smoking Ban Act 2002, see https://thethaiger.com/news/index.asp?id=2482

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