Thailand Beach Smokers Face Fines

Smoking will be banned on 20 of Thailand’s beaches from November 1st, the Phuket Gazette reports.

The ban affects Patong Beach, Koh Khai Nok Beach, Koh Khai Nai Beach, Hua Hin Beach, Cha-Am Beach, Khao Takieb Beach, Pattaya Beach, Jomtien Beach, Bangsaen Beach, and Samila beach. However, the Director General of the Marine and Coastal Department announced that it will eventually be expanded to include every beach in Thailand.

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In an official statement, he explained that the ban is an attempt to tackle the environmental problems that littering cause. “Cigarettes have direct effect on the natural environment. The butts clog the drains contributing to floods. When the cigarettes stay under the beach sand for a long time, it also negatively affects the eco system. 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”.

Anyone who violates Section 17 of the Act on the Promotion of Marine and Coastal Resources Management by smoking on Thai beaches will face one year in jail, a maximum fine of 100,000 baht, or both.

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