October 19, 2017

Thailand to stub out smoking on beaches



Tourists caught smoking on Thailand’s popular beaches will soon face up to a year in prison or a hefty fine.

This comes after Thailand announced it is introducing a ban on smoking at 20 beaches, including those in the popular tourist destination of Phuket. Authorities say the measure is due to the tens of thousands of cigarette butts left in the sand, with “stompies” making up a third of all waste collected on popular beaches. 

Recently, more than 138,000 cigarette butts had been collected by an environmental group over a 2.5km stretch of Patong beach in Phuket.

The ban, which will come into effect next month, will apply to beaches in the provinces of Phuket, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Chon Buri and Songkhla, and includes the popular resorts of Koh Samui and Pattaya, the Bangkok Post reports.

The penalty for violating the ban will be up to a year in prison or a possible fine of up to 100,000 baht (R41,000).

While smoking will be prohibited on specified beaches, there will be designated areas further inland where smokers will be able drop their butts into the containers provided. 


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