MAILBAG
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To smoke or not

 

To smoke or not

Dear Editor,
Further to my letter about the new smoking law and what are the rules? Which your ‘Editor’s note said you’ll find the answer in the article about smoking ban in CMM issue 9 page 3’. I have done some research.
I have been to 5 restaurants, 6 bars and pubs this week (I am not an alcoholic - I did this purely for research purposes). All are different. In one restaurant - the owner told me she was so worried about the police, she has made a no smoking policy. Another has made a no smoking area in part of the terrace. A further one says you can smoke outside. The bars and pubs are worse; two allow smoking inside, one said they cannot provide ashtrays anymore - so please use the floor! Everywhere is different. Your article said no smoking in the markets; I went and stood in the market at Chang Puak and watched a trader happily ‘puff away’ right in front of the police. In the market outside Kad Suan Kaew on Friday evening - people cook with open fires / BBQs. What about Suthep Road - every evening there are stalls along the pavement - does this mean a person cannot smoke while walking along the road - afraid of getting a ‘tap on the shoulder by a friendly policeman’ (I know a couple of friends who would start smoking because of the sexy uniforms!).
I know the police are very good in this Chiang Mai and would NEVER accept a bribe or try a ‘shake down’ - however I am sure in other parts of the country this might happen.
Nobody knows the rules, not even the people whose business it will affect.
Regards
Steve