Thailand imposes smoking ban in 20 popular beaches

Thailand imposes smoking ban in 20 popular beaches

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

Thailand's Thai language daily, Thai Rath, broke the story saying Hua Hin's city authorities would introduce a THB2,000 fine on beach goers who throw their cigarette butts on the seashore. At the same time near the coastal areas will be equipped with special areas for Smoking.

According to data from the Center for Research and Development of Marine and Coastal Resources, the Andaman Sea and Gulf of Thailand beach resorts are littered with trash and cigarette butts.

He said Phuket, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Chon Buri and Songkhla provinces had agreed to jointly invoke Section 17 of the 2015 law on marine and beach resources management as a trial measure and ban smoking at 20 beaches from next month. "And then when the chemicals from the cigarette butts reach the water, it also releases cadmium, lead, arsenic and some acid from insecticide which are poison to the natural food chain", said Buruspat to Phuket Gazette.

The Department said they found cigarette butts make up a third of the collected debris. This greatly added to the problem of unnecessary flooding caused by rubbish clogging the drains.

The ban is eventually expected to be enforced on all beaches nationwide. The designated areas will have containers where smokers should deposit the butts after smoking.

The first 20 beaches that will enforce it include Hua Hin, Cha-am, Bang Saen, Pattaya, Jomtien, Patong, Bophut on Koh Samui, Sairee, Mae Phim, Laem Sing, Khao Takiab, Koh Khai Nai and Samila.

The penalty for violation of the prohibition envisages a year in jail or a monetary penalty in the amount of 100 thousand baht (three thousand dollars).

The measure will be presented October 22-23 during a summit of ASEAN countries about marine debris to be held in Phuket province.

"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", the Bangkok Post cited Buruspat as saying.

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