BANGKOK – The National Statistical Office in Thailand has revealed the number of Thais over 15 years old who were smoking had risen to 11.4 million in 2014; the total surged by 21 per cent from 2013 and every year there are 50,000 deaths related to smoking.
The statistics also showed that the average age of new smokers dropped to 15.6 years of age – from 16.8 years old in 2007. The number of smokers who are younger than 18 was around 400,000; and 100,000 youths were becoming new smokers annually. Seven in 10 of the new smokers would be addicted to tobacco for the rest of their lives.
The World No Tobacco Day fair this year in Thailand concentrated on supporting the new tobacco product control bill as this modernised law will prevent the younger generation from access to tobacco products.
Her Royal Highness Princess Soamsawali opened World No Tobacco Day 2015 at Future Park Rangsit in Pathum Thani yesterday. The fair was held by the Public Health Ministry to warn of the dangers of smoking and encourage new tobacco laws.
HRH Princess Soamsawali also issued World No Tobacco Day Awards to people or organizations who devoted themselves to supporting tobacco control.
The top award winner this year was the tobacco product control law consultant team that played a major role in reforming, developing and enforcing the latest tobacco product regulations.
The team consisted of Assist Prof Pokpong Srisanit, Assist Prof Sawatree Suksri, Assist Prof Aur-aree Ungchanin and Pumin Butin.
Her Royal Highness also awarded the Regional Director’s Appreciation Award to Dr Wanchat Supachaturath, consultant to the Confederation of Medical Associations in Asia and Oceania, for his contribution to controlling smoking and tobacco products in Thailand and the region.
No Smoking Day included academic |exhibitions, medical consulting for quitting smoking and activities intended to publicize the effects of smoking and its dangers to |others.