No more cigarette butts between your toes as Thailand bans smoking on beaches
AS OF TODAY, smoking will be banned on 24 beaches in 15 provinces of Thailand, with hefty fines and even jail sentences being dished out as punishment if caught sparking up.
The 24 beaches where sun-soakers won’t be able to smoke include the popular tourist spot Cha-am beach in Phetchaburi, as well as Hua Hin and Khao Ta Kieb in Prachuap Khiri Khan. The regulations for this law have been instructed and will be enforced by the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources.
The regulation was made mandatory as 12.01am of Feb 1, so if anyone was enjoying a midnight puff, they could now be facing a 100,000 baht fine – possibly the most expensive cigarette of their life.
The announcement of the regulation was printed in the Royal Gazette in November last year after an examination of part of Chala That beach in Songkla revealed 177,0000 soggy cigarette butts in just one part of the sand.
While smoking is banned on any stretch of the listed beaches, smokers can retreat to the back of the beach where there are designated smoking areas. Alongside a fine of up to 100,000 baht, if caught taking a drag, perpetrators could also face up to a year in prison.
“Any smokers walking onto those beaches will have to put it out first. Smoking is strictly prohibited on the beaches,” Bannarak Sermthong, director of the Region 4 Marine and Coastal Resources Office, told The Bangkok Post.
The ban hopes to aid the positive beach experience for non-smokers, as well as preventing severe damage to marine life who already have to share their home with noisy humans.
Although the newly designated smoking areas are visible, local authorities on the beach areas are handing out pamphlets printed in Thai, Chinese, and English to ensure that nobody has the excuse of not understanding the rules.