Smoking on the beach banned

BANGKOK , 12 October 2017: Hua Hin’s municipal “beach police” will target smokers in a move to clean up the resort’s beaches as a new rule banning smoking at 20 beaches, nationwide, comes into effect 1 November.

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.

A representative of the Hua Hin authority said a 2,000 baht fine would be reasonable for smokers caught puffing on beaches, next month. The law stipulates the fine should not exceed THB100,000.

It follows an earlier statement that said environmental agencies had announced a 20 beach ban on smoking and littering that carry a fine of up to THB100,000 and/or a year-long jail term.

The initial information came from Jatuporn Buppapat, director-general of the Marine and Coastal Resources Department, 9 October, who said  20 beaches nationwide would come under the no-smoking ban.

Beaches named included Bang Saen, Pattaya main bay, Jomtien near Pattaya, Chonburi Beach, Cha-Am Beach, Khao Takiab, Phetchaburi, Bo Phut Beach, Sairee Beach, Patong , Phuket, Samila Beach, Songkhla.

According to data from the Center for Research and Development of Marine and Coastal Resources, the Andaman Sea and Gulf of Thailand  beach resorts are littered with trash and cigarette butts. Based on observations of an area of ​​9 square meters at a depth of 10 centimeters officials said there was an estimated 130,000 cigarette butts floating in the sea at popular beach venues.Patong Bay was identified as an example over a  distance of 2.5km.

It represents  one third of all beach waste. On the roadsides across  Thailand, the estimate runs to more than 100 million cigarette butts. When exposed to water, toxic chemicals such as cadmium, lead, arsenic and insecticide derivatives are released, that are toxic to the food chain.

Nabbing foreign tourists for throwing away cigarette buts and littering streets in Bangkok’s tourist districts is a common sight.

Now the patrols are about to migrate to the beaches a happy hunting ground for fine ticketing wielding police.

Hua Hin’s  Tourism Authority of Thailand’s office according to Thai Rath has thrown its weight behind the the ban saying it should make tourists happy.

Definitely, non-smokers will be rejoice as they will be able to sit on the seashore without having to remove cigarette buts from their swimming costumes.

According to Thai Rath the Hua Hin ban will apply to 12 km stretch of beach from the Centara Grand Beach Resort to Koh Tao beach.

Signs will be erected in three languages – Thai, English and Chinese. Designated smoking areas will be identified with trash cans and ash trays.

The ban should become effective 1 November. However, authorities said smoking zones adjacent to beaches will be set up before the ban becomes effective.