Posted by Andrew on 10 January 2008, 5:37 pm
The Ministry of Public Health has announced the ban on smoking in all air-conditioned entertainment venues throughout Thailand effective next month.
The ban is expected to be imposed on February 17 and will include such venues as nightclubs, pubs and open-air markets.
While a victory for non-smokers, the new ruling is sure to have a profound effect on many businesses that rely on customers in the service industry.
Dr Hatai Chitanond of the ministry's Health Promotion Institute, ‘We believe there will be some resistance from operators of nightclubs and pubs because they may fear the ban will reduce their customers’. The doctor goes on ‘I'm willing to talk to them more about the ban if they rally.’
As well as obvious enclosed public spaces, such as nightclubs and pubs, the likes of the Chatuchak weekend market in Bangkok will also be affected.
In the case of outdoor restaurants, patrons will have to smoke in designated areas. The restaurants in question will be required to set these areas up by law.
Those breaking the new smoking ban when it comes into force will face a hefty fine of 2,000 baht.
Health in Thailand