Plans are being put into place by the Marine and Coastal Resources Department to outlaw smoking on beaches across the nation starting next month.
Department Chief Jatuporn Buruphat said that they will initially invoke a coastal management law to prohibit smoking on twenty popular beaches across the kingdom starting in the early part of November.
The plan apparently has the backing of the Natural Resource and Environment Minister Gen Surasak Kanchanarat according to Jatuporn.
Since smoking will be prohibited under marine park law lawbreakers could face substantial punishments of up to one year in prison or a fine of up to 100,000 baht.
The initial beaches where the ban will come into force include Mae Pim, Bang Saen, Cha-am, Khao Takiab, Haad Sai Ree, Patong, Pattaya, Jomtien and Koh Khai Nok as well as several others.
The decision to outlaw smoking on the beaches came after a recent survey of a 2.5 kilometre section of Patong Beach found anything from 63,000 to 138,000 cigarette butts.
The figure was estimated based on the results of a nine-square-metre by 10 centimetre deep area where they found on average 0.76 cigarette butts per square metre.
Jutuapron said smoking will not be completely banned and that smoking areas will be set up at the edges of the beaches before people walk out onto the sands.
He noted while initially the ban will come into effect on only twenty beaches it will eventually be rolled out to all beaches across the kingdom.
Plans are also being considered to ban smoking on public and tourist boats to prevent people discarding cigarette butts into the sea.
Source : The Nation
Content : LovePattayaThailand