No Cigarettes on the Street


P1010032Bangkok One of my colleagues with the Organizers’ Forum kept bending down and picking up his cigarette butt every time we happened to be out and about doing errands to get ready for the first formal session of the Forum.  I finally asked what was up.

Seems the King and government imposed a new regulation only over the last couple of days that if the police catch you throwing a butt on the street or sidewalks it’s an automatic 50 baht fine (about $2.00).  In a poor country this would be no mean burden.

What drove the new policy?  Was it cancer concern since a significant number of Thai smoke?  No.  Was it the rising cost of healthcare which government here absorbs (another country ahead of us…but no, and in fact the system here is based on enrollment by hospital, so it actually discourages any preventive care prior to hospitals getting the patients!)?  No. Then why?  They just want to keep the city cleaner.

Anything that helps, I guess.