BANGKOK – According to a survey conducted by World Health Organization – WHO, Over 1.3 million people died of tobacco consumption in Southeast Asia every year. This Southeast Asian region is consisting of nearly 250 million smokers. According to a senior official of World Health Organization, Dr. Poonam Khetrapal Singh, regional director for South-East Asia, said: “We know that tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable deaths.”
World Health Organization Statistics on Tobacco:
In an inauguration meeting of WHO’s South-East Asia regional committee, she discussed about setting health priorities and the health agenda for the region. “Worldwide, tobacco use kills nearly six million people annually with over 600,000 deaths due to exposure to second hand smoke,” she elaborated.
Thailand is one of many countries that have strong laws and regulations to prevent people from purchasing or smoking cigarettes in cooperation with many associations and organizations to create strategies to reduce the number of smokers.
Main organizations helping create these strategies are Thailand Tobacco with the Office of Legislation and Litigation, Bangkok City Law, Bangkok Education, Thailand Association of Culture Sport and Tourism, and the Thailand Medical Association.
The goals are to prevent new smokers, to encourage and reduce the use of cigarettes and tobacco, to support smoking-free environmental areas, and to build strength and develop the capability of Thailand Tobacco to strongly reduce and control cigarettes or tobacco amounts in the country.
To support these goals and strategies to achieve them, there are public relations campaigns to raise awareness, spread news and educate people to learn more about tobacco laws that are in effect in the country
Thailand’s tobacco industry holds the majority of market shares in cigarettes and Thailand Tobacco Monopoly (TTM) had the dominant volume share in 2013.
TTM is still the major player in cigarettes as the organization is a state-owned enterprise under the Ministry of Finance and the only domestic tobacco producer in Thailand. Besides that, international companies Philip Morris (Thailand) and Japan Tobacco International hold volume shares in cigarettes as well