Thursday, 14 December, 2017

Thailand imposes smoking ban in 20 popular beaches

Severe penalties for smoking on Thai beaches Severe penalties for smoking on Thai beaches
Sammy Stanley | 13 October, 2017, 02:12

Among the most popular beaches included, Bangkok Post reports, are Phra Ae and Khlong Dao on Krabi, Tha Wa Sukri in Pattani, Patong in Phuket, and Bo Phut on Koh Samui.

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.

The ban will first touch the 20 beaches of Thailand, but subject to the success of this event can apply across the country.

This happened after the Department of marine and coastal resources of the country reported that the sand found tens of thousands of cigarettes. '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'.

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

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Those caught smoking on beaches where it is prohibited could face up to a year in prison or a fine of up to 100,000 baht (£2,280).

"The butts clog the drains contributing to floods. 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.

"Smokers will be required to drop their cigarette butts in provided containers before they enter these beaches..."

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

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. Mr Buruspat said Thailand had the sixth most littered beaches in the world. Asean countries will discuss the problem of rubbish being dumped into the sea in each country, and how they are dealing with it, Mr Jatuporn added.

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