The new smoking ban in Thailand bars and restaurants is in effect and from what I have observed the law is being treated like any other law in Thailand. What I mean is, some establishments have already set up smoking areas, others say you have to smoke outside the restaurant or bar, and others are ignoring the law altogether.
The reason for ignoring the ban could be that it will not really be enforced for a couple of months. Instead of stiff fines being issued, there will be warnings and education until the end of May, 2008.
But, then, the fines will be steep. If enforced, smokers can be fined 2,000 Baht (approximately $62 US dollars) and venue owners will be fined up to 20,000 Baht (over $600 US dollars).
This will force the bar and restaurant owners to enforce the law on their property. If the ban just penalized smokers, the establishment owners would completely ignore it.
This is nothing really new. Thailand has banned smoking in hospitals, government buildings, and train stations for a few years now. This is just an extension of an already existing law.
We have a similar law in Hawaii. It is a little more stringent in that we cannot...