Smoking in Thailand

In November 2002, Thailand passed a smoke free law that banned smoking inside all air-conditioned buildings. Thailand has one of the lowest smoking rates in all of Asia with only 23% of the poulation being smokers and of them only 2.4% are women. As of February 2008 smoking is now banned in all air conditioned bars and nightclubs as well, although it is still allowed in outside beer bars.

If you are a smoker planning a trip to Thailand keep this in mind as there are stiff fines for non compliance. The smoker can be fined 2000 baht ($60.00) and the bar owner can be fined upwards of 20,000 baht ($600).

Also keep in mind that in Bangkok there are stiff littering fines so if you’re outside smoking make sure the butt hits a trashcan or you’ll be facing a 2000 baht ($60) fine if caught.

If you are planning on bringing your own cigarettes into the country Thailand only allows 200 cigarettes per person and anything more than that may be confiscated and you may be fined. To be honest I haven’t had my bags checked coming in but the customs police do tend to check people coming off the plane with duty free bags to make sure you haven’t brought in excess cigarettes and or alcohol. When you get in the plane put your duty free bag in your carry on and you should be fine.

You can buy most major brand names of cigarettes in Thailand but they are usually made in the region and of lesser quality than you are used to.

You also want to check with the hotel or hotels you will be staying in as certain hotels don’t allow smoking on the premises.

All in all the Thai’s have been very diligent on keeping smoking down in their own people and now they are helping their people more by banning smoking in the air conditioned bars and clubs where they work. Anyone that has been in the bars and clubs before the ban can tell you the smoke was so thick you could cut it with a knife.

And of course there are the public advertising campaigns showing smoking in a bad light as well as the mandated pictures on the cigarette packs, pictured above, in hopes to help the Thai’s that do smoke and the foreingers visiting think about their own health as well as others.

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

RSS feed | Trackback URI


Comment by Mike
2008-07-13 22:41:49

Its interesting that Thailand is aligning itself with a a lot of other Nations regarding smoking. As a smoker I respect the rights of other non-smokers to breath fresh air. Although this is a bit of a joke when you consider the air pollution in Bangkok! As with a lot of things here there is usually a work around (sorry non-smokers)an example of this is on the trains, where smoking has been illegal for a long time. Next time you are travelling take a walk between the carriages and you will see what I mean.

Mikes last blog post..Communication problems.

Comment by Talen
2008-07-13 22:48:22

Totally agree with you about the air pollution in Bangkok.

And there always seems to be a workaround. You can’t smoke in the Areca Lodge hotel rooms but they leave ashtrays on the balconies because even though they want a smoke free environment they don’t want to lose the smokers money either.

Comment by fragileheart
2008-07-13 23:17:47

Woo hoo for smoke free by-laws!! My contact lenses and blind eyes thank you deeply!! Now when I do visit Thailand I won’t have to worry =D Hope it works though, there are still a lot of people in Toronto who try and get away with smoking indoors even though we’ve been smoke free indoors for so long.

fragilehearts last blog post..From my New York travels diary (no.2)

Comment by Talen
2008-07-13 23:41:50

I’m a contact wearer also but the bars have never bothered me…Bangkok on the other hand can do a number on your contacts. Yes, it can get that smoggy.

The good news is you can get contacts cheaper in Thailand and a years supply at a time as well.

Comment by Rachel
2008-07-14 01:11:59

I would probably be used to the air pollution there with the way things have been in California lately. The smoke here is killing me. My mom is also a smoker so when we go places she smokes in the van. I swear to god I think I am going to suffocate.

You do make me want to go to Thailand though. If you move there I am coming to visit and you will have to show me around.

Rachels last blog post..Bush trying to preemtively pardon himself

2008-07-14 08:39:57

in my country almost 50% of the citizen are smoker and the law about smoke free law are not effective at all…

? internet 4 money ?s last blog post..Regularly update post versus Overflow post

Comment by Roger
2008-07-14 15:06:50

Thailand has one of the highest rate of Lung cancer. It ranks as the second most common cause of death after liver in the country. I am therefore very surprised by the figure of 23% of the population being smokers.

Rogers last blog post..Intermezzo: Reducing HIV stigmatization, Sierra Leone

Comment by Talen
2008-07-14 15:48:44

I’m not sure where you’ve gotten your information but Thailand doesn’t have have one of the highest rates of lung cancer. According to WHO they don’t even rank in the top 25 countries. Maybe they have one of the highest rates in SEA.

Liver disease is also not the most common cause of death in Thailand Cardiovascular disease is and ranking second is ALL cancers and tumors not lung cancer.

Funnily enough going through WHO statistics back in 1985 the second most common cause of death was accidental poisoning…

Comment by Indonesia Travel
2008-07-14 21:37:42

very tight i think
smoke or didnt smoke, just make sure you have a quality life

Indonesia Travels last blog post..Pramuka island, home of the hawksbill turtle

Comment by T.H
2008-07-15 00:09:48

So long have not been to Thailand. The last time I went was with my parents.

T.Hs last blog post..Shoes made of paper

Comment by pinaywife
2008-07-15 10:55:39

the move to be smoke free is commendable and I hope more will follow suit.

here in the Philippines there is a law but not much is done to enforce it.

pinaywifes last blog post..Pinay Mommies Community - Weekly Fest (Week 8)

Comment by Nairobian
2008-07-16 07:03:08

Kenya has recently passed such a law banning smoking in public places!That law is readily welcome!

Nairobians last blog post..Monday Blues-A Little Nairobian!

Comment by Beau71
2008-07-16 10:17:14

When New York State passed their clean air act ,banning smokers from smoking inside, it was the on of the best days!! I think that this law should go into effect everywhere. Sorry smokers but it’s extremely invasive to force second hand smoke into other peoples’ lungs

Comment by Stevo
2008-07-16 17:36:12

Coming from China, land of smokers, Thailand was a little bit of a shock. Hidden cigarettes in stores? I felt like I was buying porn or drugs when I asked for a pack of Marlboros at 7-11.

All for the best, though. It’s good to see such an enlightened attitude in Asia.

Comment by Talen
2008-07-16 17:48:52

Stevo, Yeah it is kinda funny that they have them hidden.

Hey I tried to email you but the email got bounced back…

Your Comment (smaller size | larger size)
You may use <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong> in your comment.

Trackback responses to this post