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Tobacco Licenses in Thailand

Transcript of the above video:

In this video today we are going to be discussing tobacco licenses in Thailand. As discussed in prior videos, I've done videos on alcohol licenses specifically, so called restaurant licenses or public health and safety certificates for restaurants, bars and grills type of thing and I also did a video which discussed all three. Some time ago I did a video which basically discussed all the licenses that are going to sort of be standard practice, of standard necessity for a food and beverage business here in the Kingdom and those licenses are tobacco license, alcohol license, and so called restaurant license. I decided to get into further detail; this video is the product of that thinking. This video specifically discusses tobacco licenses here in the Kingdom.

What are we talking about with respect to Tobacco licenses because I have dealt with folks that operate F&B businesses here in the Kingdom over the years and they have had some questions or misconceptions with respect to the so-called tobacco license. I have a lot of folks say “look I'm not running a humidor here, I am running a bar and grill, why do I need a tobacco license?”  Well it seems to be that if one has smoking on that premises, and there are restrictions for smoking indoors these days here in Thailand, but there are many places that have sort of an open-air kind of a feel to them, they have big patios etc. where they are basically taking care of their customers. If there is smoking on those premises it can raise a rebuttable presumption that that tobacco was sold on those premises. Now getting into trying to rebut that presumption etc. that's a metaphor the police and possibly the courts, and quite frankly does any business owner really want to spend that time rebutting the presumption that they sold tobacco on their premises? Probably not.  And frankly the licensing fee for a tobacco license is rather nominal, at least in my opinion, and for that reason I often advise just go ahead and get the tobacco license if you think there is going to be anybody smoking on your premises. The other thing to think of is most food and beverages venues, and this is especially the case with bars and nightclubs etc. they are going to go ahead and want to, like people will be drinking, especially later at night in clubs and those kind of venues, and they will say "hey I've run out of cigarettes, does anybody have a pack of cigarettes?" And the bartender will say "oh, we have got sort of regular cigarettes, light cigarettes, we have kind of a standard truncated selection of cigarettes on hand" and it's easier for those patrons to just buy a pack of cigarettes off the bar rather than have to leave  the establishment, go get a pack of cigarettes, come back, whatever. For this reason, again a tobacco license is rather necessary. Something to keep in mind, sort of a curious aspect to Thai laws. Thai laws is really restrictive with respect to so called chewing tobacco so most tobacco licenses at least most of the ones I've ever seen only pertain to smoking tobacco. So chewing tobacco and in fact it's been my experience it's almost impossible to find chewing tobacco  for sale here in the Kingdom, so it would seem to me that there seems to be some kind of at least heavy restriction with respect to the Tobacco Monopoly, and chewing tobacco. But that being said moving back to just regular smoking tobacco, the tobacco license although at first glance someone might say “oh no I don't smoke I'm not even going to sell cigarettes” just having smokers on one's premises can create the rebuttable presumption that tobacco was sold and for that reason just having the license on hands can be a nice little mechanism to forestall anyone from making a problem with respect to one's license or with respect to tobacco.