"For the openair food courts or markets, smoking will be allowed only in designated corners," Dr Hatai Chitanondh, chairman of the Thailand Health Promotion Institute, said yesterday.
Offenders will be fined Bt2,000 for smokers and Bt20,000 for operators.
Puffing on cigarettes and the like is already prohibited in airconditioned restaurants but the Public Health Ministry's regulation to include airconditioned pubs, discos and bars will take effect 45 days after it is published in the Royal Gazette.
Hatai admitted that some owners of pubs and nighttime hangouts might resist, as they believe a smoking ban will hurt their trade.
"But our research has found that the businesses might suffer some impacts only in the beginning. After a while, pubs and entertainment places will not only get their old customers back but will also attract new nonsmoking patrons," he said.
The nosmoking rule will also be good for the health of customers and staff, he said, adding, "Music performances will be better because musical instruments won't be exposed to the smoke."