sugar. Sugar consumption among Thai people doubled in only six years. In 2006, the average
sugar consumption was 33.2 kilograms per person. In 2004, 86% of people aged six and over
had high fat foods and only 20% of people aged 15 and over ate enough fruits.
Endless smoking, drinking and addiction
Campaigns and the adjustment of social rules have been continuing and solving the
problems in many aspects. However, smoking, drinking and addiction remain heavy in some
groups of people. Smoking between 1991 and 2007 dropped in all age groups4 except in
2007 when smoking among youths aged 15‐24 increased slightly from that in 2006.5 New
smokers are the risk group that deserves careful supervision. Statistics show that financially
healthy people have a lower rate of smoking and a higher rate of smoking reduction.
Regarding the consumption of alcoholic drinks from 1989 to 2003, the consumption
by Thai people rose by as many as three times to 3,691 liters in 2003.6 The National
Statistical Office of Thailand found that the percentage of regular drinkers rose from 18.5%
in 2006 to 20.2% in 2007. Men drink more than women do. Of people aged 15 and over,
14.3 million or 29.3% drank alcohol in 2007, decreasing from 15.9 million or 31.1% in 2006.
Narcotic problems are growing again as the number of narcotic cases is increasing.
The Office of the Narcotics Control Board reported over 130,000 narcotic arrests in 2008
and the Royal Thai Police Office reported as many as 200,000 narcotic arrests.7 Another
concern comes from unsafe sexual behaviors, especially those of homosexual men that
transmit HIV. In 2010, the percentage of HIV‐infected homosexual men is expected to rise to
38%. Teenagers are another group of people who should be under close supervision.
Recklessness, the cause of risky behaviors
Accidents damage both life and property. From 1989, statistics show that accidents
are among the top three causes of deaths among Thai people. According to reports from the
Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in
2004, each death cost about 2.85 million baht. The cost exceeded 3 million baht per death
when the value of damaged property was included. According to a report on road accident
prevention by the World Health Organization in 2004, Thailand was ranked 11th in the world
in respect of the number of deaths caused by road accidents.
4 A survey on hygiene and welfare in 1991‐2006 by the National Statistical Office of Thailand
5 A survey on smoking and drinking behaviors in 1991‐2006 by the National Statistical Office of Thailand
6 The Excise Department, the Ministry of Finance
7 Kulapa Wajanasara and Kritaya Achavanijakul, 2008, (based on the statistics of five categories of criminal
cases in the kingdom, the information center of the Royal Thai Police) in the Report of Thai People’s Health in