Smokers told to stay their distance

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BANGKOK, 12 November 2018: Thailand will crank up its anti-smoking regulations forcing smokers to stand well clear of public buildings and areas.

Currently, smokers retreat to doorstep terrace zones or rooms attached to public buildings.

In the future, smokers will have to retreat to spots at least 5 metres from the building’s entrances.

It’s a common sight to see smokers huddled outside street-side terraces at restaurants, or in specific zones within airports, government buildings and shopping malls.

It is not clear if the new regulation will apply to airports, but it highly likely that smoking zones or rooms on “air side,” beyond the passport checks, would continue to exist.   However, that might not apply to parts of an airport’s terminal open to the public where smoking zones might have to be relocated to comply with the five-metre rule.

The changes are being enacted by the Department of Public Health.

Due to take effect  5 February 2019, the rule states that smoking areas must not be within a five-metre radius from the entrances of public buildings.

According to the Thai language newspaper Thai Rath, the new rule will apply at rental buildings, pubs, hotels, religious buildings, karaoke establishments, restaurants, laundries, salons, cinemas, parking areas, spas, areas for Thai massage, clinics, hospitals, schools, swimming pools, fitness parks and clinics.

Offenders could face fines of up to THB5,000.

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