Thailand government to ban smoking on beaches from November

Thailand’s government has announced that smoking will be prohibited on the nation’s main beaches. The ban is set to come into effect on 1 November and will apply to beaches in locations such as Phuket, Phang Nga, Songkhla, Hua Hin, Cha Am, Pattaya and Jomtien.

Non-compliance could work out very expensive for die-hard smokers as the maximum fine has been set at THB100,000. The authorities say offenders could be jailed for up to 12 months as well.

The stiff penalties are not being imposed over concerns for the wellbeing of beachgoers. The country’s environment department explains that countless discarded fag butts are buried in the soft sands of Thailand’s premier beaches.

Jatuporn Burutphat is a specialist with the department. He told reporters that an estimated 140,000 butts were lurking beneath the sands at Phuket’s Patong Beach. He carried on by saying the no-smoking rule would target people walking or sitting on beaches who did not dispose of their butts properly.

12GO ASIA has just learnt that smoking on or near the beaches will not be prohibited altogether. Apparently the plan is to set up designated smoking areas near beaches and furnish them with ashtrays.

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