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HOME // Phuket News // No 4am closing times, but maybe in tourist zones, ‘no’ to legalising e-cigarettes

No 4am closing times, but maybe in tourist zones, ‘no’ to legalising e-cigarettes

Bangla Road nightlife in Phuket
PHOTO: Bangla Road nightlife in Phuket

At a meeting of the board of the Thai Health Promotion Foundation yesterday, Thailand’s mercurial Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul announced that the Ministry of Public Health is against a proposal to extend the hours of operation for pubs from 2am to 4am, citing the need to “ensure public welfare and safety”.

However, the ministry may consider allowing pubs in certain major tourist destinations, such as Phuket and Pattaya, to operate until 4am on a case-by-case basis. Minister Anutin emphasised that the ministry aims to strike a balance between social and economic aspects to avoid any harm.

Of course. many of the pubs and nightlife are already staying open well past the official 2am closing time, illegally.

The Ministry of Tourism and Sports is in favour of extending the operating hours of pubs in tourist destinations to attract more tourists.

On another matter, during the meeting, Minister Anutin shared that road accidents during the 2023 New Year festival decreased by approximately 20% compared to the previous year due to the collaboration of all stakeholders, including ThaiHealth’s road safety campaign.

And then, vaping and e-cigarettes… the minister instructed the Disease Control Department to work with the Royal Thai Police and Customs Department to enforce the law on e-cigarettes.

The Thai Health Promotion Foundation was also directed to increase its efforts to educate the public, especially young people, on the hazards of e-cigarettes. Despite claims that e-cigarettes are less harmful than traditional cigarettes, Minister Anutin asserted that he will not support legalizing e-cigarettes in Thailand.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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