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The Action on Smoking and Health Foundation Thailand (ASH Thailand) has claimed that a giant American tobacco company is trying to prevent Thailand from passing a law on tobacco control.
According to ASH Thailand Secretary General Professor Dr. Prakit Watheesathokkij, Philip Morris International submitted a letter to the Ministry of Public Health discouraging the new legislation.
The company indicated that Thailand only needed to educate its citizens more about the harmful effects of smoking and use the existing laws to prevent new smokers.
Philip Morris International earns as much as three billion baht a year from selling tobacco products in Thailand.
Prof Dr. Prakit added that the company also tried to prevent the US Food and Drug Administration from enforcing the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act 2009.
He said it is important for Thailand to pass the law to prevent younger people from becoming addicted to smoking and the overall well-being of Thai people.