A new excise tax rise on cigarettes has added an additional ฿5 to ฿10 per pack.
The tax increase was agreed on Monday 8 February and made effective from midnight on Tuesday 9 February.
Although ostensibly aimed at reducing cigarette consumption in Thailand, it will also raise ฿12 billion in revenue during 2016 and ฿15 billion every year after that.
Exact price bumps will depend upon where your cigarettes of choice are imported from and whether they are taxed according to value or volume, according to Stickboy Bangkok.
Aside from a tax rise to hit the pockets of smokers, the Thai Health Promotion Foundation (ThaiHealth) is also launching an app to positively encourage and support smokers to give up their habits.
Thai Rai Khwan – or ‘Smokeless Thailand’ – will readily assist smokers looking for quitting support and advice, as a free download for Android and iOS, reports the Bangkok Post.
“The Thai Rai Khwan application is a guide to help people who want to quit smoking by themselves, so they can be serious about it andbe successful in giving up smoking,” explained Dr Suthat Rungruanghiranya, an executive at ThaiHealth.
App users will be provided with information on technique and instructions to best quit smoking, specialised reminders, record-keeping and an analysis function to help figure out the factors which exacerbate their habit. It links to other social media apps for the ultimate in accountability and knowledge sharing.
There are reportedly 12 million smokers in Thailand, half of whom are looking to quit according to a 2014 survey. While services like Quitline (a phone service) and the Fasai Clinic are able to help some of the nation’s smokers give up the dirty habit once and for all, a universal point of contact which can help any number of would-be quitters was lacking – until now.
The app can be downloaded from the Apple and Google Play stores.
Featured image is by 2ose and used under a Creative Commons licence