Global Epidemic

Thailand

Consumption

  • Approximately 27 percent of the population in Thailand use some form of tobacco: 46 percent of men and 9 percent of women use tobacco.
  • Among youth (age 13-15), 12 percent smoke cigarettes and 8 percent use tobacco products other than cigarettes.

Health Consequences

  • In 2006, an estimated 76,000 Thais died from tobacco-related diseases.
  • Among youth (age 13-15), 68 percent are exposed to secondhand smoke in public places and 49 percent are exposed to secondhand smoke in their homes.

Tobacco Industry

The Thailand Tobacco Monopoly (TTM) dominates the tobacco market in Thailand. TTM is a state-owned enterprise and is the only domestic tobacco producer in Thailand. In 2008, TTM held 67% of the total cigarette market. Philip Morris International ranked second with a market share of 27 percent, followed by British American Tobacco (3 percent), and Japan Tobacco (0.5 percent.) In Thailand, more than 38 billion cigarettes were sold in 2008.

FCTC Status

Thailand ratified the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control on November 8, 2004.

Tobacco Control Policy Status

Smoke-free environments: The law provides for two exemptions to a complete indoor public place and workplace smoking ban. 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.

Advertising, promotion and sponsorship: Thailand has one of the strongest bans on tobacco marketing. However, tobacco advertising is still allowed via cross-border advertising such as imported international publications and live international televised programs. Additionally, the tobacco industry circumvents existing legislation by using corporate social responsibility activities to promote their company name.

Warning labels: Thailand was one of the first countries to implement graphic health warnings. Thailand has produced three rounds of graphic health warning labels, in 2005, 2006, and 2010. Warning labels cover 55% of the front and 55% of the back of the package.

Tobacco taxes: The tax rate for cigarettes is high for the region. Increased taxes and higher prices have led to smoking reductions in Thailand in recent years. Increasing taxes on RYO tobacco is the most pressing concern for tobacco taxation in Thailand.

Updated: August 2013