Sun, sand, and smokeless: Cigarettes soon to be banned from Thai beaches

Photo: Michael Scalet/Flickr
Photo: Michael Scalet/Flickr

After finding an alarming number of cigarette butts in the sand, officials plan to begin enforcing a smoking ban on Thai beaches as early as next month.

After receiving recent data from the Andaman Coastal Resources Research and Development Center revealing that more than 60,000 cigarettes were found on a 2.5 kilometer stretch of sand on Phuket’s popular Patong Beach, the Marine and Coastal Resources Department (MCRD) brought the cigarette issue before Natural Resources and Environment Minister Gen. Surasak Kanchanarat, who was also disturbed by the findings, reported The Nation.

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.

Officials want to begin enforcing the ban on several popular beaches around the country and later on all Thai beaches, according to MCRD Department Chief Jatuporn Buruphat.

Laws outlawing beach smoking will be anchored in marine park law, which means that illegal smoking could carry penalties as stiff as fines of THB100,000 (about US$3,000) or up to a year in jail.

Among the initial beaches to ban smoking will be Pattaya and Jomtien (Pattaya City), Patong (Phuket), Mae Pim (Rayong), Laem Sing (Chantaburi), Bang Saen (Chonburi), Cha-am (Phetburi), Khao Takiab (Prachuap Khiri Khan), Bo Phut (Koh Samui), Sai Ree (Chumphon), and Koh Khai Nok and Koh Khai Nai (off the coast of Phang Nga).

Jatuporn noted, however, that there will be smoking areas near each beach as well as ashtrays provided before entering the beaches, Daily News reported.

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One thought on “Sun, sand, and smokeless: Cigarettes soon to be banned from Thai beaches

  1. It makes sense to stop people from antisocial behavior, like littering, but the punishment should fit the crime. 1 years imprisonment and/or a THB 100,000 fine just isn’t reasonable. [Especially when compared with the potential sentencing for far worse crimes].

    People littering should be made to clean up sections of the beach; if this was done Thailand could have the cleanest beaches, at no/low cost to the tax payer.

    This YouTube video does a good job of summarizing the current situation, and this bizarre proposed legislation.

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