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 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.

Tobacco Taxation and Prices: The World Health Organization recommends raising tobacco excise taxes so that they account for at least 70 percent of retail prices. Tobacco excise taxes in Thailand are below these recommendations.

Updated: April 2014