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Tob Control 18:238-240 doi:10.1136/tc.2009.029686
  • Brief report

Tourists’ attitudes towards ban on smoking in air-conditioned hotel lobbies in Thailand

Open Access
  1. V Viriyachaiyo1,
  2. A Lim2
  1. 1
    Division of Respiratory and Respiratory Critical Care Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Prince of Songkla University, Hat Yai, Thailand
  2. 2
    Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Faculty of Science and Technology, Prince of Songkla Unversity, Pattani Campus, Thailand
  1. Dr Vilaiwan Viriyachaiyo, Division of Respiratory and Respiratory Critical Care Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Prince of Songkla University, Hat Yai, Thailand 90110; vvilaiwa{at}medicine.psu.ac.th
  • Received 22 January 2009
  • Accepted 28 March 2009
  • Published Online First 12 April 2009

Abstract

Background: Thailand is internationally renowned for its stringent tobacco control measures. In Thailand, a regulation banning smoking in air-conditioned hotel lobbies was issued in late 2006, causing substantial apprehension within the hospitality industry. A survey of tourists’ attitudes toward the ban was conducted.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey of 5550 travellers staying in various hotels in Bangkok, Surat Thani, Phuket, Krabi and Songkhla provinces, October 2005 to December 2006. Travellers aged 15 years or older with a check-in duration of at least one day and willing to complete the questionnaire were requested by hotel staff to fill in the 5-minute questionnaire at check-in or later at their convenience.

Results: Secondhand cigarette smoke was recognised as harmful to health by 89.7% of respondents. 47.8% of travellers were aware of the Thai regulation banning smoking in air-conditioned restaurants. 80.9% of the respondents agreed with the ban, particularly female non-smokers. 38.6% of survey respondents indicated that they would be more likely to visit Thailand again because of the regulation, 53.4% that the regulation would not affect their decision and 7.9% that they would be less likely to visit Thailand again.

Conclusion: Banning smoking in air-conditioned hotel lobbies in Thailand is widely supported by tourists. Enforcement of the regulation is more likely to attract tourists than dissuade them from holidaying in Thailand.

Footnotes

  • Funding: This survey was supported by the Institute of Research and Development for Health of Southern Thailand entitled “Attitudes of tourists towards banning of smoking in air-conditioned hotel lobbies” (RDG 4880004).

  • Competing interests: None.

Open Access

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