Pattaya has begun daily random checks around public buildings, restaurants and other public places to enforce amendments to Thailand’s anti-smoking laws that took effect Feb. 3.
Buppa Songsakulchai of the Public Health Department’s Consumer Protection Office, said city hall regulation-enforcement officers are checking schools, public parks, beaches and other sites ensuring that smokers stand at least five meters from prohibited areas.
Promulgated in November, the amendments to the 2017 Tobacco Control Act and a 2018 Public Health Ministry directive extends no-smoking zones in and around government agencies and state enterprises to five meters.
Those caught lighting up in prohibited spaces face fines of up to 5,000 baht. Warnings will be given first.
Buppa said many people are aware that smoking is not allowed in most public buildings, and now on the beach, but most are unaware they can’t simply go outside, lean against a wall and light up.
Athapol, a Thai tourist visiting Pattaya, was one of those. He didn’t know about the new restricted zone, but approves of it as he realizes many people don’t like second-hand smoke.