Smoking in a house in Thailand can now land you in jail. Although not a blanket ban, this is a new law that is supposed to come into effect from today as per reports.
The new law, Family Protection and Development Promotion Act, was initiated by the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security and was announced in the Royal Gazette on May 22, 2019. The law aims at curbing smoking at home which might be hazardous for others' health residing under the same roof. In that case, it will be considered as 'domestic violence'.
Speaking at the 18th National Conference on Tobacco and Lung Health held in Bangkok in May 2019, Department of Women's Affairs and Family Development chief Lertpanya Booranabundit said, "If it can be proved that the health problems of family members stems from second- or third-hand smoke at home, it can lead to two court trials: one in Criminal Court for 'domestic assault' via smoke and the other at the Central Juvenile and Family Court. This could lead to a court injunction to protect the health of family members, with the smoker being sent to a rehabilitation centre to kick the habit."
According to The Post, smoking at home also “may lead to physical or emotional violence” because of aggressiveness when there is a lack of smoking, and might as well ruin relationships between smokers and non-smoker family members. This might as well require the offenders to appear before two courts: the Criminal Court and the Central Juvenile and Family Court.
Complaints about smokers can be made at Family and Protection Centres present in all provinces throughout the nation and accordingly, inspectors will be sent in to investigate the matter and nab the offenders.
According to reports, there are about 4.9 million households where one or more family members smoke and 10.3 million people, who have turned into passive.
In February this year, Thailand had banned smoking at six of its airports along with a ban in public places.