Published: Fri, October 13, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Thailand to ban smoking at 20 popular beaches

Thailand to ban smoking at 20 popular beaches

Thailand is banning smoking on numerous beaches across the country, including in tourist hotspot Phuket.

Beaches named included Bang Saen, Pattaya main bay, Jomtien near Pattaya, Chonburi Beach, Cha-Am Beach, Khao Takiab, Phetchaburi, Bo Phut Beach, Sairee Beach, Patong, Phuket, Samila Beach, Songkhla.

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

Beaches hit by the ban, effective from November 1, were found by inspectors to have been littered with thousands of discarded cigarette butts.

The latest measure follows a report from the DMRC last month which revealed that 101,058 cigarette butts were found on a single 2.5-kilometre stretch on Patong, accounting for 30 per cent of the waste found on the beach, Jatuporn said.

A global clean-up organised by USA charity Ocean Conservancy recovered 1,863,838 cigarette butts from beaches in 112 countries past year. As it will be based on marine park law, offenders will be subject to maximum penalties of one year in jail or a Bt100,000 fine.

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"Mr. Poropat added that Smoking will be banned on beaches, but a little further on the coast will be designated for Smoking, in which smokers can put the rubbish in special containers".

How big is the environmental impact of cigarette butts on beaches?

"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 butts clog the drains contributing to floods".

"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.

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.

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

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