New Findings

Thailand is one of two ITC SEA survey countries.  This project is an expansion of the ITC 4-Country (Australia, Canada, UK and US) into two developing countries (Thailand and Malaysia).  Thailand signed the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control on 20 June 2003.  The treaty was ratified on 8 November 2004.

Country Profile:

Capital City Bangkok
Population (2007 estimate) 63,396,000
Ethnic groups Thai 75%, Chinese 14%, Other 11%
Religions Buddhist 94.6%, Muslim 4.6%, Christian 0.7%, Other 0.1%
Languages Thai, English, ethnic and regional dialects
GDP per capita (2006) $8400
Median age 33.3 years
Literacy 92.6%


A unified Thai kingdom was established in the mid-14th century.  Known as Siam until 1939, Thailand is the only Southeast Asian country never to have been taken over by a European power.  A bloodless revolution in 1932 led to a constitutional monarchy.  In alliance with Japan during World War II, Thailand became a US ally following the conflict.  Thailand is currently facing separatist violence in its southern ethnic Malay-Muslim provinces.

Administrative Divisions:

76 provinces (changwat, singular and plural): Amnat Charoen, Ang Thong, Buriram, Chachoengsao, Chai Nat, Chaiyaphum, Chanthaburi, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Chon Buri, Chumphon, Kalasin, Kamphaeng Phet, Kanchanaburi, Khon Kaen, Krabi, Krung Thep Mahanakhon (Bangkok), Lampang, Lamphun, Loei, Lop Buri, Mae Hong Son, Maha Sarakham, Mukdahan, Nakhon Nayok, Makhon Pathom, Nakhon Phanom, Nakhon Ratchasima, Nakhon Sawan, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Nan, Narathiwat, Nong Bua Lamphu, Nong Khai, Nonthabury, Pathum thani, Pattani, Phangnga, Phatthalung, Phayao, Phetchabun, Phetchaburi, Phichit, Phitsanulok, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Phrae, Phuket, Prachin Buri, Phachuap Khiri Khan, Ranong, Ratchaburi, Rayong, Roi Et, Sa Kaeo, Sakon Nakhon, Samut Prakan, Samut Sakhon, Samut Songkhram, Sara Buri, Satun, Sing Buri, Sisaket, Songkhla, Sukhothai, Suphan Buri, Surat Thani, Surin, Tak, Trang, Trat, Ubon Ratchathani, Udon Thani, Uthai Thani, Uttaradit, Yala, Yasothon

Economic Overview:

With a well-developed infrastructure, a free-enterprise economy, and proinvestment policies, Thailand appears to have fully recovered from the 1997-98 Asian Financial Crisis.  This country was one of East Asia’s best performers from 2002-04.  Boosted by increased consumption and strong export growth, the Thai economy grew 6.9% in 2003 and 6.1% in 2004 despite a sluggish global economy.  Bangkok had pursued preferential trade agreements with a variety of partners in an effort to boost exports and to maintain high growth.  In late December 2004, a major tsunami took 8,500 lives in Thailand and caused massive destruction of property in the southern provinces of Krabi, Phangnga, and Phuket.  In 2006, investment stagnated as investors, spooked by the Thaksin administration’s political problems, stayed on the sidelines.  The military coup in September brought in a new economic team led by the former central bank governor.  In December, the Thai Board of Investment reported the value of investment applications from January to November had declined by 27% year-on-year.  On the positive side, exports have performed at record levels, rising nearly 17% in 2006.  Export-oriented manufacturing – in particular automobile production – and farm output are driving these gains.

Smoking Prevalence and Related Costs:

  • total smoking-attributable out-of-pocket medical costs amounted to 9,856.02 million baht, 0/48% of GDP in 2006
  • smoking prevalence of the total population was 16.1% in 2005
  • graphic warning labels take up 50% of the cigarette pack

Smoking Policies:

  • banning smokers from lighting up in bars, restaurants and open-air markets across the country – the ban will take effect on February 11, 2008
  • this new ban is in addition to the bans of smoking at public places such as hospitals, train stations and government buildings

ITC Researchers:

Buppha Sirirassamee
Aree Jampaklay
Tawima Sirirassamee

Thailand policy table

South East Asia Wave 4 Technical Report

Thailand Contact Information

Anne Quah, Project Manager. Email:

Buppha Sirirassamee, Principal Investigator. Email:

ITC Affiliated Institutions:

Mahidol University Institute for Population and Social Research
Thai Health Promotion Foundation (ThaiHealth)
Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University
Srinakharin Wirot University Faculty of Medicine
HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Medical Center

Sources: CIA World Factbook; Leartsakulpanitch, J., W. Nganthavee & E. Salole. (2007). The economic burdern of smoking-related diseases in Thailand: A prevalence based analysis. Journal of Medical Assoication of Thailand, 90,1925-1928; Thai Health Organization.

For the Executive Summary for the Thailand Adult project, click here.

For the Executive Summary for the Thailand Youth project, click here.

Click here for the ITC Thailand survey questionnaires »


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