March 20, 2018

Smoking to be banned at 20 popular beaches in Thailand

12 October 2017, 01:04 | Opal Carroll

Horse riding on Hua Hin beach a popular activity for domestic and international tourists

Horse riding on Hua Hin beach a popular activity for domestic and international tourists

Thailand is a popular beach destination, with the government predicting a total of 35 million tourist arrivals this year.

It begins next month and, if successful, will be uniformly adopted across all of Thailand's beaches. This translated into 101,058 butts along the 2.5km beach.

The measure will apply to up to 20 popular tourist beaches found to be constantly littered with huge numbers of discarded cigarette butts, according to the chief of marine and coastal resources.

"We won't totally ban smoking but we will set aside smoking areas for smokers before they reach the beach".

"Cigarette butts accounted for 30 per cent of the waste found", said Jatuporn Buruspat, the department's director general.

Jatuporn Buruspat, the Department of Marine and Coastal resources head told that 138,000 cigarette butts were collected from the Patong beach.

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So, in an effort to keep cigarette butts off the beaches that Thailand is so well-known for, officials are planning to ban smoking by the seaside, citing that cigarettes do damage to marine and coastal resources and basing the assumed presence of cigarette butts on beaches on those found on Patong Beach.

"We are not completely banning smoking on the beach, but we will arrange a smoking area with bins where cigarette butts can be disposed", said the department's Director-General Jatuporn Buruspat. This greatly added to the problem of unnecessary flooding caused by rubbish clogging the drains.

All other beaches were expected to be included into this ban in the future, he said. On violating the ban, there is a provision of one-year imprisonment or a possible fine of up to 100,000 baht ($3,000), as per BBC.

Bangkok Post reports that the ban will be imposed from November in beaches of Phuket, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Chon Buri and Songkhla provinces.

The ban is due to come into force later this month as Phuket prepares to host an worldwide 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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