Smokers who light up in public places would face a harsher punishment and the minimum age of cigarette buyers will be raised to 20 if efforts to push through a tougher anti-smoking law are successful.
“They will be fined Bt5,000 instead of Bt2,000,” Deputy Public Health Minister Surawit Khonsomboon said yesterday.
The draft law would raise the minimum age of cigarette buyers from 18 to 20 years old. It would also ban cigarette-vending machines, Internet-based cigarette sales and the sale of loose individual cigarettes.
“We will also be seeking to bar cigarette firms from doing corporate social responsibility activities,” Surawit said.
Dr Pornthep Siriwanarangsan, director-general of the Disease Control Department, said the draft law is being presented in public hearings.
“After this, we will present the draft law to the National Tobacco Control Board and the Cabinet,” he said.
There are about 13 million smokers in Thailand. They start lighting up at the average age of 17.4 years.