Thailand Bans Smoking on Popular Beaches



It follows an earlier statement that said environmental agencies had announced a 20 beach ban on smoking and littering that carry a fine of up to THB100,000 and/or a year-long jail term.

Horse riding on Hua Hin beach, a popular activity for domestic and global tourists.

According to Bangkok Post, the ban, effective from November 1, will be imposed on popular beaches across Thailand, including Patong beach in the southern city of Phuket, the eastern city of Pattaya and Hua Hin and Cha Am south of the capital.

As told the head of the Department of marine and coastal resources of Thailand Chetuphon Boraphet (Jatuporn Buruspat), Smoking causes significant damage to marine and coastal resources.

Upon successful implementation in the 20 beaches, the authority aims to extend the rule in other areas too.

From next month, those who are caught smoking at these beaches will face up to a year in prison or a fine of 100,000 baht (US$3,000).

It's been several years since smoking was banned on beaches across Hawai'i.

The Department chose to take action after the Andaman Coastal Resources Research and Development Centre recently found between 63,000 and 138,000 cigarette butts on a 2.5-kilometre stretch of Patong Beach.

They collected 138,000 cigarette butts. "No more lighting up while strolling along the beach because that is most likely to end up with a huge number of cigarette butts being dropped on the beaches", Mr Jatuporn said.

"The butts clog the drains contributing to floods".

Buruspat added that the while smoking will be prohibited on the beaches affected by the measure, there will be "designated areas" further inland where smokers will be able drop their litter "in provided containers".

After a trial period, the ban is expected to be enforced on all Thai beaches, as well as on passenger and tourist boats, to tackle the problem of butts damaging the underwater environment.

Thailand will host an global meeting on sea waste in Phuket on Oct 22-23.

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