The most recent survey conducted in 2013 found that the rate of cigarette use among members of the Thai population age 15 and older decreased to 19.94%. Male smokers, the largest group of smokers in Thailand, showed a greater trend in reduced smoking rates than females. Similarly, children and youth (ages 15-24) also showed a downward trend in smoking rates. The survey also found that the average age Thai’s start smoking decreased from 18 to 17 years of age. Therefore, children and youth require special attention to prevent the emergence of a new generation of smokers.
The survey also found that individuals living outside municipal areas, especially in the southern and northeastern regions of Thailand, exhibit increased cigarette use. In addition, the general population in Thailand is becoming more exposed to secondhand cigarette smoke than in the past, especially near markets, public transportation terminals, and restaurants.
Focus Areas of Plan
1) Public Policies and Law Enforcement
1.1 Law enforcement, especially policies/measures to protect the health of non-smokers and reduce unwanted exposure to secondhand smoke.
1.2 Advocacy for new policies/measures, such as:
Tobacco Products Consumption Control Act B.E.
Restriction of access to cigarettes, especially among youth/new generation smokers, including zoning cigarette retailers
2) Research & Information Systems
2.1 Support action-based research, community-based research, and movement-based research with community based participatory research
2.2 Research/academic work to drive policies and campaign networks, and apply gained knowledge to continually develop relevant work.
2.3 Information systems to support the synthesis and development of academic/research work for greater ease in applying work results.
3) Campaign Networks, Public Relations, and Expansion of Smoke-Free Zones
3.1 Prevention of a new generations of smokers, especially youth and women, and a reduction of male rural smokers.
3.2 Prevention of exposure to secondhand smoke and thirdhand smoke exposure by expansion of smoke-free zones.
3.3 Communication to adjust public perception and attitude towards tobacco products, the tobacco industry, and cigarette smokers (de-normalization).
3.4 Anti-tobacco model development in various areas and provinces.
3.5 Integrated work promotion alongside other work plans to control tobacco.
4) Services to Help Smokers Quit Smoking
4.1 Development of rehabilitation and referral systems for smokers, and inclusion of medication for smoking cessation in the National List of Essential Medicines.