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Party on, Phuket! No change in booze promotion enforcement, says health office

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET: The Phuket Provincial Health Office (PPHO) has no plans to ramp up enforcement of existing laws regulating the promotion of alcohol, despite reports stating otherwise, the Phuket Gazette was told today.

“The law stands as it is,” said PPHO Non-communicable Diseases division Director Prapa Nakara, who directly heads the enforcement of alcohol-related regulations on the island.

“I have no idea why this is in the spotlight at the moment. The Alcohol Control Act 2008 and the Ministerial Regulation On Criteria and Conditions for Displaying the Symbol for Advertising or Public Relations of Alcoholic Beverage 2010 are still the same – nothing has changed.”

Dr Prapa confirmed that the PPHO has not received any direct orders from the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO).

“We have received no new instructions about this, and we have no plans to launch any campaigns to specifically crack down on the promotion of alcohol,” she told the Gazette.

Instead, Dr Prapa called on conscientious members of the public to report possible breaches of any alcohol-promotion laws, including the use of beer promotion pretties, the publishing of photos of alcohol-related promotion events or other illegal activities.

“By law, advertising in publications, on billboards or elsewhere is not permitted to encourage people to drink alcohol,” she said.

“If anyone sees or suspects any advertising has broken the law, please let us know and send us photos so we can investigate.”

If Dr Prapa’s unit believes that the law has been broken, her office will hand a report to Phuket Governor Maitri Inthusut for deliberation on whether the police will be instructed to take action.

“Governor Maitri will need to sign the order. Then, the police are responsible for enforcing the law,” she said.

However, Dr Prapa confirmed that ignorance of the law was no defence against legal action.

“Venue owners cannot say they don’t know the law. Every alcohol-related business owner must know the Alcohol Act as it relates to their business,” she said.

Dr Prapa also cautioned about using social media to promote alcohol, even through postings by individuals.

“People can post whatever they want, but we will judge what the true intention is. If anyone reports the posting to us or the police, we will have no choice but to investigate,” Dr Prapa said.

All the laws regulating the promotion and sale of alcohol are posted in Thai on the official website for the Office of the Alcohol Control Committee (click here).

Please note that none of the links to the laws on the English version of the website work (click here).

For the benefit of Phuket Gazette readers, below are links to unofficial English translations of three of the main pieces of legislation:

1. Alcohol Control Act BE 2551 (click here).

2. Ministerial Regulation On Criteria and Conditions for Displaying the Symbol for Advertising or Public Relations of Alcoholic Beverage BE 2553 (click here).

3. Notification of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Committee Re: Pattern and Method for the Display of Symbol of Alcoholic Beverage or Symbol of the Company Manufacturing the Alcoholic Beverage BE 2553 (click here).

— Chutharat Plerin

 

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