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The Ministry of Public Health has prohibited the sales of individual cigarettes to deter youths’ access to tobacco.
Department of Disease Control (DDC) Director General Jedsada Chokdamrongsuk said the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) had introduced legislation to ban the sales of individual cigarettes which was approved by the National Legislative Assembly to prevent the access to tobacco consumption by children and youths, according to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.
According to the information from July 2016, 93 countries across the globe have enacted a law preventing individual cigarette sales, while a 2011 survey from the National Statistical Office shows 88.3 percent of tobacco consumers in Thailand aged 15-17 years old started smoking by purchasing individual cigarettes.
The prevention of individual cigarette sales will help non-regular smokers to quit smoking easier, as Thailand now has some one million non-regular smokers, the DDC chief said.
He cited a medical research as showing the access to individually sold cigarettes makes it more difficult for people to quit smoking as they can easily and cheaply buy cigarettes whenever they wish to smoke, even if they might have enough money to purchase a whole pack.