Recently, Public Health Minister, Mark Attanon, declared that ministry would move an amendment for the 1992 Tobacco Products Control Act and ban the sale of tobacco products to people under 20 and issue an enactment that producers can only sell fire-safe cigarettes that reduce exposure to second-hand smoke.
According to the 1992 Tobacco Products Control Act, the ministry will reconsider the definition of tobacco products that possess nicotine as for instance gel, drinking water and electronic cigarettes. The ministry also plans to revise the definition of “sell” in the law in order to cover such words as: selling, exchanging, giving nicotine products for commercial profit.
Also the ministry will reconsider the minimum legal age for buying tobacco products from 18 to 20 years old. Selling tobacco products to those under 20 by means of vending machines or Internet is prohibited. Under the new law, cigarette brands will be prohibited from all kinds of advertising, with the exception of televise live from abroad.
Attanon stated that the reconsideration would be submitted to the Cabinet and House of Representatives for examination and approval.
He also added that the ministry would also issue a ministerial enactment to permit only fire-safe cigarettes to be sold and distributed in the country. This move, comes after the ministry understood that regular cigarettes raise the risk of fires if left without attendance, will require a year to take the effect. Also, fire-safe cigarettes may decrease the level of exposure to second-hand smoke. Fire-safe cigs are produced specially to extinguish more quickly than regular cigarettes, when left without attendance.
These cigarettes are manufactured by adding two bands to the cigarette paper in order to stall the burning velocity, and that is why when left without attendance they can be prevented from setting on fire nearby materials.
Thailand will be the first Asian country to permit only fire-safe cigarettes to be sold in the nation. This practice was for the first time implemented in Australia, Canada, Finland and US. The European Union is also in favor of this law.
“The ministerial enactment should be legalized within a year in Thailand,” Attanon stated.
Currently, up to 20% of the Thai population smokes and the majority of them are men. Approximately 1 million of the smokers are aged between 15 and 24. The ministry hopes that these measures will decrease the number of smokers to 10% of the population.
Tobacco production in Thailand according to estimates is worth between Bt60 billion and Bt70 billion a year, with the State Tobacco Monopoly having a market share of 75 %.
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