BANGKOK – Starting on December 9, all cigarette products sold in Thailand come in standardized, plain packaging, with packs stripped of distinctive designs and logos, in an effort to reduce the appeal of tobacco consumption. The Thai Health Promotion Foundation and its network of partners have launched an anti-smoking campaign, after a new study found that smokers are admitted to hospitals more than 500,000 times, at a total medical cost of 21 billion baht.
At an anti-smoking forum, Dr. Kumnuan Ungchusak, a senior expert in preventive medicine and a member of the Thai Health Promotion Foundation, said today the foundation recognizes the importance of tobacco consumption controls and efforts to encourage people to quit smoking. Public health volunteers in villages and subdistrict health promotion hospitals, have worked together to encourage patients to stop smoking. Their efforts are associated with the social and cultural environment. The project intended to build a smoke-free society and emphasize factors contributing to a general cessation of smoking, has been initiated in 12 provinces nationwide, and in three workplaces.
At the forum, seminars were arranged for representatives of subdistrict health promotion hospitals in Nakhon Pathom, Pathum Thani and Lopburi provinces, youth members and former smokers to share their knowledge and experience.
Today is the first day that all cigarette products sold in Thailand must only come in standardized, plain packaging according to the Ministry of Public Health’s regulations. The packs must not display distinctive designs, logos or advertising messages. Offenders will face a maximum fine of 40,000 baht for violating Section 38 of the 2017 Tobacco Control Act.