Thailand became a Party to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control on February 27, 2005.
Smoke Free Places
Smoking is prohibited in all indoor public places, indoor workplaces, and public transport. 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, with limited exceptions for reverse brand stretching and unpaid depiction. 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.
Plain packaging is required for cigarette packaging as of September 10, 2019, with an additional three months for already manufactured products to be sold. Thus, all cigarettes available for retail sale must be in plain packaging as of December 8, 2019.
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.
The law prohibits the sale of tobacco products via vending machines, the internet, and in schools, playgrounds, and healthcare facilities. The law also prohibits the sale of single cigarettes, small packets of cigarettes, and waterpipe tobacco. The sale of tobacco products is prohibited to persons under the age of 18.
The retail sale of e-cigarettes is prohibited. There are no restrictions on advertising, promotion and sponsorship of e-cigarettes.
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 has issued two sets of regulations under the TPCA 2017. Ministry of Public Health Notification Re: Identification of Types or Names of Public Places, Work Places and Vehicles, Entirely or in Part, as Non-Smoking Areas or Smoking Areas in Non-Smoking Areas B.E. 2561 identifies different categories of smoke free places. Ministry of Public Health Notification of Criteria, Methods and Conditions of Tobacco Product and Cigarette Packaging B.E. 2561 establishes the requirements for the plain packaging of tobacco products and an updated set of health warnings. This Notification entered into force on September 10, 2019.
Because the 2018 Notification on packaging and labeling only addresses health warnings on cigarette packaging, the following notices remain in effect: 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); and 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).
This country’s legal measures were reviewed by our legal staff in consultation with in-country lawyers or tobacco control experts.