Pattaya promotes World No Tobacco Day message

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Students and city health workers marched through town on World No Tobacco Day May 31, educating residents on the perils of smoking and promoting Pattaya’s stop-smoking clinic.

World No Tobacco Day march highlights oft ignored Pattaya no-smoking law

Pattaya School No. 4 students joined city public health workers for two World No Tobacco Day marches May 31 to remind locals and tourists about Pattaya’s generally ignored public-smoking prohibition.

Students and city health workers marched through town on World No Tobacco Day May 31, educating residents on the perils of smoking and promoting Pattaya’s stop-smoking clinic.Students and city health workers marched through town on World No Tobacco Day May 31, educating residents on the perils of smoking and promoting Pattaya’s stop-smoking clinic.

Wilaiwan Phuluanglue of the Public Health Department’s drug protection and rehabilitation office led 20 high school students on walks through the Nongyai and Chaimongkol Temple neighborhoods, educating residents on the perils of smoking and promoting Pattaya’s stop-smoking clinic.

School No. 4 Principal Phaibun Siripol said the students who marched were already involved in the school’s “fight against drugs” project and volunteered to help rid the city of smoke.

In South Pattaya, Raewat Siangchin, secretary for the Pattaya Transportation Cooperative, which runs the majority of the city’s baht buses, joined them. The parade stopped at the taxi stand in front of Pattaya School No. 8 to advise passengers and drivers that the stop for Jomtien-bound buses is regulated by Pattaya’s anti-smoking laws, making it illegal for drivers and passengers to light up.

Smoking in bars, restaurants, retail stores and other public venues was outlawed in 2008, but enforcement dropped almost to zero within just a few months. Tourist areas, in particular, are still rife with smoke and ashtrays. Many baht bus drivers have never observed the law.

“I have to admit that there are some drivers addicted to smoking, but there will be no smoking while driving or parking,” Raewat pledged. “I will coordinate with Pattaya city to organize health inspections and lead drivers to the smoking clinic.” He added that any driver wanting to quit smoking could contact him or the Public Health Department for assistance.

“Tourists need to know that Thai laws prevent smoking in the area for benefit of others not wanting to suffer the side affects of inhaling second-hand smoke,” Wilaiwan said.

World No Tobacco Day is organized by the United Nations. Special emphasis is placed on students, as the U.N. says 90 percent of new smokers are between 15 and 24 years old. Smoking kills 480 people per hour globally and smokers spend on average about 42,340 baht a year on cigarettes.

Thailand, in 2005, also banned open displays for cigarette sales in shops, a law that was finally enforced in 2008 and has remained largely effective. The country also requires large, graphic advisories on cigarette packages.

Those looking to kick the habit can contact the Public Health Department on Soi 6 at 038-429-167.