Smoking in your own home in Thailand may now be considered a crime, if the smoke is considered harmful to other people in the house.
The new law, Family Protection and Development Promotion Act, was initiated by the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security and was announced in the Royal Gazette on May 22, 2019.
The law aims at curbing smoking at home which might be hazardous for others' health residing under the same roof. In that case, it will be considered as 'domestic violence'. The new law came into force on August 20.
According to the center for research and knowledge management for tobacco control, at the Faculty of Medical Science of Mahidol University, there are about 4.9 million households where one or more family members smoke.
An average of 10.3 million people have unwittingly become passive smokers because they've been inhaling smoke at home. Scientific studies show that passive smokers are at greater risk of being affected by cancer.
Of 75 child patients from houses where smoking is practiced, 76% of them were found to have nicotine traces in their urine, with 43% of them having nicotine content exceeding permissible levels.
Smoking at home also "may lead to physical or emotional violence" because of aggressiveness when there is a lack of smoking, and might as well ruin relationships between smokers and non-smoker family members.
According to the new law, anyone who thinks they are affected by domestic smoking can report to officials concerned so that inspectors will be sent to investigate and take legal action against the smokers.
Once convicted, the court may order a person to receive treatment to quit smoking in an attempt to protect the person's family.
In February this year, Thailand had banned smoking at six of its airports along with a ban in public places.