Thai Gov’t: Giving Smokes to Monks Is Sin
Sun Dec 19, 6:20 PM ET
BANGKOK, Thailand – Cigarette packs in Thailand may soon carry more than the usual health warnings, with an edict admonishing the public not to give Buddhist monks a smoke.
The new label, proposed by the head of Thailand’s National Buddhism Office, will read: “Donating cigarettes to monks is a sin.”
Chakratham Thammasak told the Thai News Agency on Saturday that he’ll ask the public health ministry to go ahead with the change.
In Thailand, like most Buddhist countries, the public donates food and money to monks, but smoking among the Buddhist clergy is generally frowned upon.
Thailand has recently enacted stricter controls on smoking in public, and Chakratham said he would ask the government to add temples to its list of smoke-free zones, which already includes salons, department stores and restaurants. He would also encourage nicotine-addicted monks to enter free treatment programs.