- The smoking rate in the past 20 years has dropped to 33.25%. The smoking rate of smokers was 32.0% (1991), and dropped to its lowest level at 20.7% in 2009, and slightly increased to 21.36% (2011) with 41.69% and 2.14% male and female smokers respectively.
- This increase was the first time in 20 years that the overall smoking rate rose. The number of smokers increased from 10.9 million (2009) to 11.5 million (2011) with increases in all groups of smokers except seniors. The smoking rate for new initial smokers (aged 15 – 24) increased and the female teenage smoking rate increased slightly since 2009. The male smoking rate (aged 19 -59) stood higher than 40% which is considered a high level of smoking.
- The South of Thailand has the highest smoking rate (25.6%), followed by the Northeast (23.5%), the North (20.5%), central Thailand (19.2%) and Bangkok (15.4%) respectively.
- The ten provinces with the highest current smoking rates in descending order are: Mae Hong Son, Satun, Pattani, Ranong, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Surat Thani, Khon Kaen,Kanchanaburi, Trang and Nongbualampoo.
- The most popular cigarettes purchased are factory cigarettes and Roll – Your – Own (RYO) cigarettes. The number of RYO smokers has risen in 2007 because of more expensive factory cigarettes due to increases of cigarette taxes on manufactures cigarettes. However, the smoking rate of factory cigarettes has risen since 2007 because of lower rates of cigarette taxes on imported cigarettes due to the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) and later bilateral trade agreements with other countries with marketing competition resulting in the expansion of cheap new cigarette brands imported to and produced in Thailand.
Dr. Siriwan Pitayarangsarit, Prapaphun Iamanun, Praveena Punkrajung and Kumpakran Somjit. The summary of tobacco control in Thailand (2012), Tobacco Research Control and Knowledge Management Center (TRC), 2012.