March 25, 2018

Thailand bans smoking on popular tourist beaches

12 October 2017, 09:04 | Taylor George

Sun, sand, and smokeless: Cigarettes soon to be banned from Thai beaches

Thailand See von Phuket

Thailand primarily implemented the ban on 20 beaches but said that if it is successful, the measure could be uniformly adopted nationwide.

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

Thailand plans to impose a smoking ban on 20 of its popular tourist beaches across the country, including those in Phuket and Krabi, the Bangkok Post reported on Tuesday (Oct 10).

Jatuporn said his department would soon expand the ban to cover every beach in the country and the department would also consider a smoking ban on passenger and tourist boats to prevent cigarette butts being dropped into the sea.

The Department made a decision 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. The survey found an average of 0.76 cigarette butt per square metre of sand.

After finding an alarming number of cigarette butts in the sand, officials plan to begin enforcing a smoking ban on Thai beaches as early as next month.

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"The butts clog the drains contributing to floods".

All other beaches were expected to be included into this ban in the future, he said. "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.

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".

Those who fail to comply will be subject to a fine of 100,000 baht (£2,278) and a maximum jail sentence of one year, according to the DMRC.

The ban is due to come into force later this month as Phuket prepares to host an global conference on sea waste.

Thailand has been judged to have the sixth most rubbish-strewn sea in the world, a problem which needs to be tackled with proper legal measures, he said.

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