6 June 2024

The Ministry of Public Health is against a proposal to allow pubs to stay open until 4am (instead of 2am) as a matter of principle for public welfare and safety, Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul told a meeting of the board of the Thai Health Promotion Foundation (ThaiHealth) on Sunday.

He also said, however, that the ministry may agree to allow pubs in certain major tourist destinations to operate up to 4am on case by case basis, adding that the ministry will try to maintain a balance between social and economic aspects, so no harm is caused.

The Ministry of Tourism and Sports wants pubs in tourist destinations, such as Phuket and Pattaya, to stay open until 4am to attract tourists.

He disclosed that road accidents during the 2023 New Year festival dropped by about 20%, compared to last year, thanks to the cooperation of all parties concerned, including ThaiHealth for their road safety campaign.

The minister also said that he has instructed the Disease Control Department to coordinate with the Royal Thai Police and Customs Department in the enforcement of the law concerning e-cigarettes.

The Thai Health Promotion Foundation was also instructed to step up its campaign to educate the public, especially young people, about the dangers of e-cigarettes.

Despite claims that e-cigarettes are less dangerous than traditional cigarettes, Anucha said that he will never allow e-cigarettes to be legalised in Thailand.