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Thailand – Health Issues

Thailand is a country in Southeast Asia with a population of over 69 million people. The country has made significant progress in improving the health and well-being of its citizens in recent years, but there are still health issues that affect the population. In this article, we will explore some of the common health issues in Thailand, as well as smoking prevalence and legislation.

Common Health Issues

Non-communicable Diseases

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are the leading cause of death in Thailand, accounting for more than three-quarters of all deaths. These diseases include cardiovascular diseases, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases, and diabetes. The risk factors for NCDs include tobacco use, physical inactivity, unhealthy diet, and harmful use of alcohol.


Obesity is a growing concern in Thailand, with more than 30% of adults classified as obese. Obesity is a risk factor for many chronic diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. The rise in obesity is largely attributed to changing dietary habits and a more sedentary lifestyle.

Infectious Diseases

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While Thailand has made significant progress in controlling infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis, there are still health concerns related to infectious diseases. Dengue fever, a mosquito-borne viral infection, is prevalent in Thailand, with over 136,000 cases reported in 2020. Malaria, another mosquito-borne disease, is also a concern, especially in rural areas.

Smoking in Thailand


Smoking is a significant health issue in Thailand, with approximately 10.5 million smokers in the country. According to the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS), the smoking prevalence among adults in Thailand is 19.2%, with 26.8% of men and 11.6% of women being smokers.

Attitudes towards Smoking

Attitudes towards smoking in Thailand have changed significantly in recent years. There is now a greater awareness of the health risks associated with smoking, and public attitudes towards smoking have become less tolerant. There are also increasing efforts to prevent young people from starting smoking.


Thailand has implemented several measures to reduce smoking prevalence, including the Tobacco Products Control Act of 2017. This law prohibits smoking in public places, such as restaurants, bars, and public transport. It also requires tobacco products to display warning labels and bans tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorship. Additionally, Thailand has implemented a tax on tobacco products to discourage smoking.

Despite these measures, smoking remains a significant health issue in Thailand. The country still faces challenges in implementing and enforcing tobacco control policies, particularly in rural areas where smoking prevalence is higher.

Thailand has made significant progress in improving the health and well-being of its citizens, but there are still health issues that affect the population. Non-communicable diseases, obesity, and infectious diseases are common health concerns in Thailand. Smoking is also a significant health issue, with high prevalence rates and associated health risks. Efforts to reduce smoking prevalence through legislation and public health campaigns are ongoing, but there is still more work to be done to protect the health of the population.