Anti-smoking group urges Thais to reject smokers from society


BANGKOK, 10 January 2013 The Action on Smoking and Health Foundation (ASH) has reported that more Thai children become new smokers every day, urging the Thai people to reject smokers from the society. 

ASH Secretary-General Prakit Vathisathokit said around 1,000 Thai youths get hooked on cigarettes each day, saying the number is about the same as the average number of quitters and deaths from smoking in the past 20 years.

According to him, 12 million Thais are smokers, 400,000 of whom are children aged 15-18, and another 6 million are men aged 25-44. He said 8.8% of all smokers are school teachers. Therefore, on the occasion of National Children’s Day on January 12th and Teacher’s Day on January 16th, Mr Prakit is calling for parents and teachers to help create awareness and reduce to the number of smokers.

The ASH Secretary-General expressed that cigarette could lead youths to narcotic drugs and is the main cause of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and emphysema. He cited a statistic, saying 70% of children who pick up the habit will smoke for the rest of their lives.

As parents and teachers are the people closest to the children, the Secretary-general is urging them to create a new attitude by boycotting smoking, signalling the kids that the habit is unacceptable in society. He added that schools should be a completely smoke-free area.