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Pattaya Daily News

04 October 2012 :: 15:10:46 pm 67183

Chatuchak Market’s Smoking Ban Impresses Foreign Officials

Representatives of several foreign countries took an observatory tour of Bangkok’s Chatuchak Market that has begun a no-smoking policy. Officials were impressed at seeing only one smoker at the huge outdoor market that has 8,000 vendors and averages 200,000 daily visitors.
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BANGKOK – Several foreign countries interested in banning smoking in public areas took a tour of Chatuchak Market in Bangkok, to check how the market’s new no-smoking policy was working.

Among the tour participants were Mr. Rizal Majid, the representative of health promotion foundation Malaysia; Ms. Barbara Mouy, the representative of health promotion foundation, Australia; and Mr. Tan Yen Lian and Dr. Lina Foong Kin from the network of south Asian tobacco control alliance (SEATCA).

The foreign officials were interested in observing how the Chatuchak market was enforcing its smoking ban, since Thailand is currently one of the few pioneering Southeast Asian countries to start such a public no-smoking policy. They wanted to learn how the enforcement methods are working in one of the world’s biggest outdoor markets, which has become a “must see” tourist attraction in Bangkok.

During their tour, the foreign contingent saw just one smoker, which highly impressed them and demonstrated that the market had succeeded in making the vendors and tourists know and obey the new law.

The foreign observers added that they would bring what they had seen to apply at their hometowns. The Malaysia health promotion foundation representative also said he wanted to apply what he learned to ban smoking on the market street in Malaka.

Hosting the dignitaries on the tour were Mr. Preecha Maitreerak, the secretary of the Area Management Director of Chatuchak; and Mr.Wuttichai Attapan, the public relations officer of Yimyam station.

They said that the market averages more than 200,000 people a day, and has more than 8,000 vendors. Since the volume of people is so huge, the success of the no-smoking ban required the coodination of many different methods to inform the people and enforce the ban, they said.

The market’s management used several methods of public relations to build the co-operation, and there were three languages used to make public broadcasts every 20 minutes about the smoking ban in Thai, Chinese, and English.

There were also reminder cards given to the visitors saying that the market was non-smoking. In addition there were “No Smoking” stickers and labels pasted in every part of the market.

Also encouraging the co-operation of the public were more than 200 tourism police officers and security guards, to look after the tourists in every way and give advice to the visitors to obey the law to everyone’s happiness.

The enforcement officers focused on advising and asking for co-operation, rather than arresting and fining people, to make the visitors feel good, and in return the officers always got willing cooperation from people to refrain from smoking.

Category : Thailand News

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