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Tobacco Industry Monitor

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Tobacco Authority of Thailand (TAOT)

Update May 2020

The Tobacco Authority of Thailand (TAOT), formerly called the Thai Tobacco Monopoly (TTM), is a state-owned enterprise registered as a government agency under the supervision of the Ministry of Finance in Thailand. TAOT operates in the tobacco production and distribution business.

Since its establishment in 1939, TTM grew steadily and took the biggest cigarette market share in Thailand. In 2017, the company controlled 71% of cigarette market share[1] and reported it made a net profit of THB 9.34 billion (about USD 311 million), an increase of THB 482 million or 5.44%.[2] Revenue from cigarette sales rose by THB 2.95 billion (about USD 98 million) compared to the previous year. Being subject to strong tobacco control policies and regulation, the company’s domestic sales have been declining every year. Hence, in recent years, the company has changed its marketing strategies to focus more on export of cigarettes to the ASEAN countries. Cigarette exports have doubled from 2013 (35.64 million sticks) to 2017 (70.56 million sticks).[3]

TTM’s change in marketing strategies led to its corporatization and name change in May 13, 2018 to ‘Tobacco Authority of Thailand’ (TAOT), but it remains a state-owned enterprise under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Finance. TAOT is obligated to submit information on the volume of manufacturing, imports, marketing expenses, earnings and expenses as stated in Section 40 of the Tobacco Product Control Act. B.E. 2560.[4]

As a state-owned entity, TAOT has access and opportunities to engage with policymakers and senior government officials, which presents the risk of transparency issues and interference in tobacco control policymaking. However, its role to influence tobacco control policy is limited because the inter-sectoral committee on tobacco control does not allow TAOT to have a seat.

*This article is excepted from Asian state-owned tobacco enterprises

[1] Euromonitor International (July 2017). Passport: Cigarettes in Thailand
[2] TTM. 2017 Annual Report. pp. 59-60.
[3] TTM. 2017 Annual Report.
[4] Thailand: Tobacco Products Control Act B.E. 2560 (2017). Retrieved from http://www.ashthailand.or.th/en/content_ attachment/attach/new_thai_law.pdf (accessed on 10 November 2018).