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

Wikimedia

Wikimedia

The ban will first be imposed on 20 popular beaches in places such as Hua Hin, Pattaya and Patong starting in November. Thailand government is all set to ban smoking at beaches after massive amount of cigarette buds were found in the sand.

Thailand's Thai language daily, Thai Rath, broke the story saying Hua Hin's city authorities would introduce a THB2,000 fine on beach goers who throw their cigarette butts on the seashore.

It comes after the country's Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR) reported that it had retrieved tens of thousands of cigarette butts left in the sand throughout the beaches in the country. The decision was made after Phuket Marine Biological Center found an average of three cigarette butts for every 4sqm they sampled in an area of Patong beach.

More than 20 popular beaches in Thailand are to become smoking free areas as measures to prevent people from smoking in the beach have been implemented.

"The butts clog the drains contributing to floods".

He said the department would also consider a smoking ban on passenger and tourist boats to tackle the issue of cigarette butts dropped into the sea.

The Marine and Coastal Resources Department has said those caught violating the law facing up to a year in prison, according to BBC.

All other beaches were expected to be included into this ban in the future, he said.

Buruspat added that while smoking will be prohibited on the beaches affected by the measure, there will be "designated areas" further inland where smokers will be able drop their litter "in provided containers".

Those found flouting the ban could face a maximum penalty of a year in prison and/or a fine of 100,000 baht.

The ban is due to come into force later this month as Phuket prepares to host an global conference on sea waste. Mr Buruspat said Thailand had the sixth most littered beaches in the world.

"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", the Bangkok Post cited Buruspat as saying.

Tamil Nadu Dy CM O Panneerselvam to meet PM Modi today
Movies Anywhere Combines Movie Libraries From iTunes, Amazon, Google Play And More