No ifs, no butts - beach smoking in Thailand is banned

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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. The law stipulates the fine should not exceed THB100,000.

Phuket Marine Biological Center staff search for cigarette stubs in a 9sqm sample area at a depth of 10 centimeters on Patong beach in Phuket province in an undated photo.

Smoking will be banned on up to 20 beaches in Thailand after a massive amount of cigarette butts were found on the beaches, the country's Department of Marine and Coastal Resources says.

This happened after the Department of marine and coastal resources of the country reported that the sand found tens of thousands of cigarettes.

The Department chose to take action after the Andaman Coastal Resources Research and Development Centre recently found between 63,000 and 138,000 cigarette butts on a 2.5-kilometre stretch of Patong Beach.

The discarded butts made up about one-third of all the rubbish collected.

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According to the department's director-general Jatuporn Buruspat, more than 100 million cigarette butts were found on the streets of some of Thailand's busiest streets and this caused unnecessary flooding when the waste clogged up drains. "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".

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

Boraphet noted that the ban will be introduced in the tourist areas in the heart of the Andaman sea and the Gulf of Thailand.

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.

Even though smoking is going to be banned in these islands, there will be specifically designated areas where people can smoke.

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

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