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Smoking in homes may be deemed illegal ‘only as a form of domestic abuse’

Smoking in homes may be deemed illegal ‘only as a form of domestic abuse’

PHUKET: Those who smoke at home and affect the health of others may be considered to be breaking a new law that comes into effect on Aug 20 if they are deemed to have caused harm as a form of domestic abuse, the Director-General of the Department of Women’s Affairs and Family Development under the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security has confirmed.

healthcrime
By The Phuket News

Monday 24 June 2019, 01:47PM


Any person considered to have caused a severe hazard to the physical and mental health, freedom or reputation of a member of the family is subject to legal penalties, said Lertpanya Buranabandit, Director-General of the Department of Women’s Affairs and Family Development under the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security. Photo: NNT

Any person considered to have caused a severe hazard to the physical and mental health, freedom or reputation of a member of the family is subject to legal penalties, said Lertpanya Buranabandit, Director-General of the Department of Women’s Affairs and Family Development under the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security. Photo: NNT

Department Director-General Lertpanya Buranabandit on Friday (June 21) explained that the Family Development and Protection Act B.E. 2562, which will become effective on August 20, 2019, aims to prevent severe hazards to family as well as promote the welfare of family members, reported state news agency NNT. (See story here.)

Any person considered to have caused a severe hazard to the physical and mental health, freedom or reputation of a member of the family is subject to legal penalties, he said.

That may result in a criminal lawsuit in cases of physical assault and a lawsuit in the Central Juvenile and Family Court, which may legally force the smoker at home to undergo a rehabilitation course and to quit smoking for the sake of family members, Mr Lertpanya added.

News of the new law breaking late last week (see story here) sparked much heated debate online over the rights of smokers and what people do in their own homes versus the impact smokers have on other people’s health.

The Promotion and Protection of Family Institutions Act defines domestic violence as any act a person in the family commits onto another for the purpose that may cause harm to life, body, mind, health, freedom, or reputation of the person, reported Thai PBS. (See story here.)

Smoking at home also “may lead to physical or emotional violence” because of aggressiveness when there is a lack of smoking, according to Post Today, adding that the behaviour could also ruin relationships between a smoking family member and non-smokers in the house.

According to Post Today, offenders may be required to appear in two courts, including the Criminal Court and the Central Juvenile and Family Court.

Once convicted, the court may order a person to receive treatment to quit smoking in an attempt to protect the person's family, said the report. (See story here.)

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