Phuket braces for another anti-smoking crackdown

PHUKET: Patong business operators have been given one month to post No Smoking signs and set up smoking areas in their air-conditioned restaurants and nightclubs, or face a fine of up to 20,000 baht.

Smokers found breaking the law will face a fine of up to 2,000 baht.

The deadline was handed down by Kathu Police Superintendent Arayapan Pukbuakao on September 14.

At Kathu Police Station to hear the news was Preechavude “Prap” Keesin, the son of Patong Mayor Pian Keesin.

Mr Prap is busy man. President of the Pisona Group of companies that is planning to build a 744-room resort high up the Patong hillsides, the western-educated business graduate is also president of the Patong Taxi Federation.

Also present to hear the news on behalf of some 200 entertainment operators in the area were Weerawit Kurasombat and Sompetch Moosopon, respectively the current and former presidents of the Patong Entertainment Business Association.

Col Arayapan said the crackdown was the result from many complaints, mostly from tourists. “There have been many complaints that this law was launched a long time ago, but that people still smoke in nightclubs and restaurants. We have been asked why this law is not being enforced,” he said.

He added that the move also follows the Public Health Ministry on June 28 expanding its definition of areas where smoking is now banned.

The June 28 proclamation declared all public areas and buildings smoke-free zones, specifically inside and outside buildings at all educational and healthcare institutions, as well as at veterinary clinics, religious centers, indoor and outdoor sports centers, banks and other financial institutions.

The only indoor smoking areas permitted in the country are at Suvarnabhumi International Airport.

— Pimwara Choksakulpan

Phuket News

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