Smog Leads to City-wide Cigarette Ban – April’s Fool’s Day

 | Tue 31 Mar 2015 17:00 ICT

CityNews – The Ministry of Public Health announced late Tuesday afternoon, March 31st, that they will be implementing a month-long cigarette ban in Chiang Mai.


Due to pressure from community members, media, and a variety of organisations about the increased health risks associated with the high-levels of smog authorities have decided to take action. Just as the governor stated in an earlier interview with Citylife, “It is a health crisis, a tourism crisis, and a crisis for all of us.”

Previous measures taken, such as the sixty day no burning ban and water dispersal by aircrafta, have not made a large impact on reducing the smog that has enveloped the city.

With the large numbers of cigarettes smoked a day in Chiang Mai the government is hoping in removing cigarettes from the equation to finally see the improvement in air quality that they have been striving for.

All establishments will be told to refrain from selling cigarettes starting April 1st at 11:59 pm and can resume sales on May 1st. Places that do not follow this ban may face a 100,000 baht fine, and individuals caught smoking will face a 10,000 baht fine on the spot.

A source in the ministry said, “While the decision was a hard one, we believe that the benefits for the community as a whole will outweigh the individual burden on some,” and he urges people who may find it a challenge to stop smoking to consider, “bubble gum cigarettes as a temporary substitute until the ban is lifted.” Seven Eleven has already announced that they will be making nicotine gums available in all outlets in Chaing Mai.

With Songkran just around the corner, and the inevitability that any lit cigarette will be immediately doused in water anyway, this ban could not come at a better time for Chiang Mai.