Dr Vera Luiza da Costa e Silva, Head of the Convention Secretariat, WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control has expressed support for the draft law in a letter to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, and praised Thailands efforts in the implementation of the Convention.
She further expressed the Secretariats gratitude to the Thai Government for keeping the momentum for further strengthening implementation of the WHO FCTC unbroken, and promoting this new tobacco control law that will bring the Thai legislative framework in compliance with the requirements of the Convention, and utilizes the best practices promoted by the implementation guidelines adopted by the Conference of the Parties.
The law is now awaiting cabinet scrutiny, but has already met strong resistance among tobacco retailers and growers who fear they will lose benefits.
The bill’s main targets are to reduce smoking among youths by increasing the minimum age at which someone can buy tobacco from 18 to 20 years old, banning the online sale of tobacco products and the sale of individual cigarettes. The draft also intends to list e-cigarettes and baraku as tobacco products, and ban all covert advertisements.
The Head of the Convention Secretariat recognized Thailands contribution to international tobacco control through its pivotal role in drawing the agenda of and bringing its strong contribution to the work of the Conference of the Parties, the governing body of the WHO FCTC. She also called upon Thailand to take the leadership in the region for addressing illicit trade in tobacco products, and set an example to all Parties from South-East Asia by acceding, as soon as possible, the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products.