Thailand became a Party to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control on February 27, 2005.
Smoke Free Places
Smoking is prohibited in almost all indoor public places, indoor workplaces, and public transport. However, international airports may have designated smoking areas and hotels may permit smoking in guest rooms. Non-air conditioned facilities serving food and/or drinks are smoke free only in the areas where food and/or drinks are served. Smoking is prohibited in the following outdoor places: facilities for exercise, sports training, sports playing, and sports competitions of every kind, public parks, zoological parks, and amusement parks, children’s playgrounds, and markets.
Tobacco Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorship
There is a comprehensive ban on tobacco advertising and promotion. Although sponsorship by the tobacco industry is allowed, some forms of publicity of the sponsorship are prohibited.
Tobacco Packaging and Labeling
The law requires pictorial health warnings on cigarettes, occupying 85 percent of the top of the front and back principal display areas. Pictorial health warnings also are required on shredded tobacco (which is typically used for hand-rolled cigarettes or smokeless tobacco products) and cigars. Misleading packaging and labeling, including terms such as “light” and “low tar” and other signs, is prohibited.
Cigarette Contents and Disclosures
The law grants the authority to regulate the contents of cigarettes; however, no subsequent regulations have been issued. The law requires that manufacturers and importers disclose to government authorities information on the contents and emissions of their products.
Roadmap to Tobacco Control Legislation
Effective July 4, 2017, the Tobacco Products Control Act of 2017 (TPCA) is the primary piece of legislation governing tobacco control in Thailand. The TPCA 2017 rescinds and replaces the Tobacco Products Control Act of 1992 and the Non-Smokers Health Protection Act of 1992. The Minister of Public Health is authorized to issue regulations and notices to implement the TPCA 2017. However, all ministerial regulations and notices issued under the 1992 laws remain in effect until replaced by new regulations, as long as the existing documents do not conflict with provisions of TPCA 2017.
Pursuant to the Non-Smokers Health Protection Act 1992, the Ministry of Public Health has issued numerous notices increasingly prohibiting or restricting public smoking. The most recent notice - Ministry of Public Health Notice No. 19 of 2010 - prohibits smoking in all indoor public places, workplaces, and public transport and some outdoor places, with the exception of international airports, which have designated smoking areas, and non-air conditioned facilities serving food and/or drinks, which are smoke free only in the areas where food and/or drinks are served.
Pursuant to the Tobacco Products Control Act 1992, the Ministry of Public Health issued numerous notices regulating packaging and labeling. Current regulations include: 1) Notification of the Ministry of Public Health No. 13 of 2007 (regulating health warnings for cigars); 2) Ministry of Public Health Notice No. 15 of 2011 (prohibiting misleading statements); 3) Ministry of Public Health Notification No. 17 of 2012 (prescribing requirements for graphic health warnings on packages of shredded tobacco and blended shredded tobacco); 4) Ministry of Public Health Notice of Rules, Procedures, and Conditions for the Display of Images, Warning Statements, and Contact Channels for Smoking Cessation on Cigarette Labels, 2013 (establishing new graphic health warnings and other packaging and labeling requirements); and 5) Ministry of Public Health Notification No. 18 of 2015 (establishing new statements to appear on side panels of cigarette packaging).
Also pursuant to the Tobacco Products Control Act 1992, the Ministry of Public Health issued the Directive Procedures for Distribution of Tobacco Products, which clarifies that the display of tobacco products at point of sale is prohibited, except at duty-free shops for persons leaving Thailand, under the ban on advertising, promotion and sponsorship.
This country’s legal measures were reviewed by our legal staff in consultation with in-country lawyers or tobacco control experts.