TABINFO 2009 Protestan
In 2009, Tobacco businesses selected Thailand as the place for a tobacco promotion market exhibition under the name of TABINFO ASIA 2009. This tobacco exhibition was to be the biggest tobacco promotion market place in Asia, aiming to develop new tobacco industry products and tobacco strategies for the region. The exhibition took place from 11-13 November 2009 at IMPACT Muang Thong Thani.
This exhibition was to promote tobacco production, sales and consumption. Although it did not emphasize a specific target group, this exhibition portrayed tobacco as a normal product even though it kills over 5 million people each year.
Moreover, this international exhibition was to provide the tobacco industry an opportunity to build relationships with important government departments and officers.
Being aware of this exhibition, various networks such as the Action on Smoking and Health Foundation Thailand, Thailand Health Promotion Institute headed by Dr. Hatai Chitanont, Office of the Alcohol Beverage and Tobacco Control Committee, Ministry of Health, Tobacco Control Research and Knowledge Management Center (TRC), Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA), and 17 other organizations of public professional networks, the rural doctor community including academic staff from mass media and public health, came together to protest this exhibition. Dr. Hatai Chitanont was leading this protest in order to reduce the impact of the exhibition on tobacco consumption in Thailand, and to be a lesson for neighboring countries to promptly counter this kind of exhibition in the future. The purpose of this protest was to expose tobacco industry actions and to drive government to uphold and strictly follow Article 5.3 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control which prohibits tobacco industry interference in national tobacco policymaking.
- Piyarat Nimpitakpong
- Sathaporn Jirattananont
- Chawala Bhavabhutanonda Na Mahasarakham