Smokers, if you’re headed to Thailand for a holiday then you need to take note! Just a few days ago on November 1, the smoking ban on 20 beaches in Thailand has come into effect. Convicted offenders can face up to one year in jail, or a maximum fine of 100,000 baht (RM12,742) or both. They’re really serious about it!
Don’t worry if you find yourself absentmindedly lighting up, you won’t be thrown in jail just yet as Thailand is having a 90-day trial period before the officials will start charging offenders. This means that currently if they spot any smoker puffing on the beach, a reminder will be given, Phuket News reports.
However, come February 1, 2018 it will be a different story as the law is fully enforced on 24 beaches in Thailand. This includes Patong, Koh Khai Nok, Koh Khai Nai (Phuket); Hua Hin, Cha-Am, Khao Takiab (western province of Prachuap Khiri Khan); Pattaya, Jomtien, Bangsaen (eastern province of Chonburi) and Samila (Songkhla city).
This ban was put into effect after the country’s department of marine and coastal resources were shocked by the amount cigarette butts found in a recent survey of litter. In fact, cigarette butts made up about one third of the rubbish collected and this is really bad for the environment.
In an effort to further clean up the beaches, Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR) Director-General Jatuporn Buruspat also said that this ban would apply to people who litter or dump rubbish on any of the protected beaches. So, don’t be a litterbug okay?
You’ll still be able to get your nicotine fix when you’re at the beach though, as there will be designated smoking areas placed strategically along the beachfront. In popular Patong beach alone, there are already seven designated smoking areas with more to come.
Phuket DMCR official Patpong Romyen said, “We will have a total of 18 smoking areas along the beachfront and we will have signs warning people about the law. We will post signs in multiple languages so foreign tourists can learn about the law.” No excuses when the law comes into full effect!
Remember, don’t simply light up your cigarettes when you’re headed for Thailand!