The Thai Minister of Education Suchart Thada-thamrongvech met with the Secretary General of the Action on Smoking and Health Foundation Thailand (ASH Thailand) to discuss the enforcement of a World Health Organization (WHO) convention framework on tobacco control which aims to prevent intervention from cigarette entrepreneurs and stakeholders in the tobacco industry. The framework, which won the approval of the Thai Cabinet on 17 April 2012, calls for an action plan in the education sector featuring the inclusion of subjects about smoking-borne diseases into school curricula, and the display of no-smoking signs in school compounds.
The ASH Thailand official revealed that the number of smokers is rising each year. There were 12.5 million smokers in 2009 and 13 million in 2011, an increase of 500,000. Among the new smokers, 25 percent are youngsters and those affected by second-hand smoke.
The main goal of ASH Thailand is to reduce the number of smokers and related problems. It is found that smoking kills as many as 48,000 Thais each year. The number of those dying from smoking-related disease in Thailand is only exceeded by those dying of alcohol abuse.
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