Smoking ban on Thai beaches: A new law prohibits smoking and littering on 24 famous tourist beaches to address environmental concerns.
A law to be respected
The legislation, introduced by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, came into force on Thursday, February 1, 2018.
Those who violate the ban could be sentenced to one year in prison!
“From today, smoking and cigarette litter are banned on the beaches,” told Reuters Bannaruk Sermthong, director of the Bureau of Marine and Coastal Resources Management.
“Anyone who wants to smoke must do so in designated smoking areas, not on beaches.”
138,000 cigarette butts over a range of 2.5 km
These seemingly excessive sanctions are put in place to prevent damage to the environment and to protect marine life.
Studies have shown that cigarette butts are a major cause of environmental damage not only to the sea and beaches but to Thailand in general.
The trial was launched in October 2017 after Jatuporn Buruspat, head of Thailand’s Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR), reported that his team had collected up to 138,000 cigarette butts on a 2.5 km Patong beach in Phuket.
According to the DMCR, cigarette butts accounted for one-third of beach waste.
Smoking ban on beaches in Thailand: list of beaches
The beaches where smoking bans are in effect are:
Pattaya: Dong Tan
Chonburi: Bang Saen, Tham Phung, Sattahip[Sai Kaew]
Rayong: Saeng Chan Chan
Phang Nga: Khao Lak
Hua Hin: Hua Hin Beach and Khao Takiab Beach
Koh Samui: Bo Phut
Koh Tao: Chalok Ban Kao
Koh Yao: Koh Khai, Noi Koh, Khai Nok
Koh Lanta: Klong Dao, Kor Kwang, Phra Ae
Trat: Ban Chuen
Songkhla: Chala That
Trang: Chao Sam Ran
Nakhon Sri Thammarat: Plai Sai
Chanthaburi: Laem Sadet
Planned locations for smokers
Designated smoking areas further inland have been created on prohibited beaches, with containers for collecting cigarette butts.
Persons who violate the ban will be prosecuted and will be sentenced to one year in prison, a fine of up to 100,000 baht, or both.