Country Details For
Eastern Mediterranean Region
South-East Asian Region
Western Pacific Region
Thailand became a Party to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control on November 8, 2004.
Smoke Free Places: Smoking is prohibited in almost all indoor public places, indoor workplaces, and public transport. However, smoking may be permitted in hotel guest rooms, international airports may have designated smoking areas, and 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: The law imposes a ban on most forms of tobacco advertising and promotion. However, the prohibition does not apply to “live broadcast from abroad via radio or television” and “printed matters printed outside” Thailand. Tobacco product displays are banned except at duty-free shops for persons leaving Thailand. Because the law contains a definition of “advertising” only, and not a definition of “tobacco advertising and promotion,” it is unclear whether some types of promotional activity are prohibited under the advertising ban. Although the law does not specifically prohibit the use of non-tobacco brand names on tobacco products, it is prohibited under the general ban on tobacco advertising. Sponsorship is permitted, although there are restrictions on the publicity of sponsorship in that publicity may not include brand names or trademarks.
Tobacco Packaging and Labeling: The law requires graphic health warnings on cigarettes, occupying 55 percent of the front and back principal display areas. The size was set to increase to 85 percent in October 2013; however, it has been delayed pending the outcome of litigation brought by the industry. For cigars, warnings must occupy 50 percent of principal display areas. Qualitative constituents and emissions statements are required on each side panel of tobacco product packaging; while figurative emissions yields are neither prohibited nor required. The law prohibits the use of words, statements, or symbols that may be misleading or that may encourage consumption. Some forms of smokeless tobacco, such as snus, are prohibited. However, products such as loose tobacco (which is often blended and chewed) are permitted, and health warnings on these forms are required.
Roadmap to Tobacco Control Legislation: In 1992, Thailand passed two main laws that govern tobacco control: 1) Tobacco Products Control Act, B.E. 2535, which governs packaging and labeling of tobacco products and tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship; and 2) The Non-Smokers Health Protection Act, B.E. 2535, which governs public smoking. Pursuant to the Non-Smokers Health Protection Act, the Ministry of Public Health has issued numerous Notices increasingly prohibiting or restricting public smoking. The most recent notice - Ministry of Public Health Notice (Volume 19) of 2010 - prohibits smoking in all indoor public places, workplaces, and public transport and some outdoor places, with the sole exception of international airport, which have designated smoking areas.
Pursuant to the Tobacco Products Control Act, the Ministry of Public Health issued numerous Notices regulating packaging and labeling, including: 1) Ministry of Public Health Notice of Rules, Procedures, and Conditions for the Display and Content of Cigarette Labels, 2009 (regulating health warnings for cigarettes); 2) Notification of the Ministry of Public Health (No. 10) B.E. 2549 (requiring toxic and carcinogenic emissions disclosure statements on cigarettes); 3) Notification of the Ministry of Public Health (No. 13) 2550 (regulating health warnings for cigars); 4) Notification of the Ministry of Public Health B.E.2550 (A.D. 2007) (regulating health warnings on loose tobacco); 5) Ministry of Public Health Notice (Volume 15, A.D. 2011) (prohibiting misleading statements); and 6) Ministry of Public Health Notice (No. 16, 2011) (issuing statements on toxins and carcinogens to appear on the sides of packaging). In March 2013, the Ministry of Health issued the Notice of Rules, Procedures, and Conditions for the Display of Images, Warning Statements, and Contact Channels for Smoking Cessation on Cigarette Labels, 2013. This Notice establishes new graphic health warnings and other packaging and labeling requirements. These new requirements were set to take effect in October 2013, but are delayed pending the outcome of litigation.
Also pursuant to the Tobacco Products Control Act, 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 and verified by in-country lawyers or tobacco control experts.
Policy Fact Sheets
Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorship
Packaging and Labeling