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PPHO to clear the haze on smoking ban

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PPHO to clear the haze on smoking ban | Thaiger

PHUKET: While the ban on smoking in air-conditioned areas in bars, restaurants and nightclubs came into effect in Bangkok last night, entertainment venue and restaurant operators in Phuket have a temporary reprieve.

Venue operators and smokers found breaking the new law in Phuket will not be fined until after the Phuket Provincial Health Office (PPHO) has launched a public awareness campaign, Prapa Nakara, chief of the PPHO’s anti-smoking unit, told the Gazette yesterday.

Fines set out in the new law stand at 2,000 baht per patron found smoking illegally and 20,000 baht for venue operators found with patrons breaking the law on their premises.

“In Phuket, we want to warn both smokers and restaurant owners about the new law first. So we will conduct a public awareness campaign before enforcing the new law,” said K. Prapa.

K. Prapa and PPHO Chief Dr Paisan Worrasathit are in Surat Thani attending a seminar organized by the Public Health Ministry to educate officers about the smoking ban.

Some confusion about the new rules has arisen. The notice posted on the Ministry of Public Health website says that the ban affects all air-conditioned areas in bars, restaurants and nightclubs.

However, the notice also says that venue operators can designate smoking zones, but does not specify whether smoking zones must be outdoors or can be indoors.

The notice also says that open-air restaurants, specifically, must ban smoking in all areas except those designated as smoking zones. The same applies to private company premises that have air conditioning.

The notice does not mention whether the ban applies to open-air areas of entertainment venues, such as beer gardens or beer bars, which are common in Patong.

Markets, including any place where goods or services are on display or traded, must also ban smoking, but smoking zones can be set aside.

K. Prapa said she would return to Phuket tomorrow and should be able to provide more details by Friday.

 

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

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