Beach vendors preparing themselves for smoking ban
With Pattaya beaches already quiet, beach vendors and businesses are now preparing for the worst as the smoking ban fast approaches.
Reports from yesterday said that everything was normal on the beaches, with the few tousists that were on the beach smoking as flicking their butts into the sand, just like they always have done.
On Novemeber 1st, however, things are set to change with the smoking ban coming into effect. Anyone silly enough to try to sneak a cheeky one will be looking at up to a year in jail or 100,000 fine.
Due to the state of the beaches, tourists are few and far between as it is, but beach sellers now fear that with the smoking ban, it will simply destroy all whats left of their business.
As seems to be the case more often than not though here in Thailand, there seems to be a bit of a grey area. One operator Saranya Yingyortram, 33, said that no one had officially told them about the plans.
Other operates spoke out saying that the ban should be clearly promoted to both locals and tourists, so that everyone is fully aware of the new regulations. The fear is that the authorities will be looking to take advantage of unsuspecting tourists.
The idea of designated smoking areas was also raised, with clear signage indicating such areas.
It seems the beach operators are sticking together on the issue and are keen to look out for the well being of tourists, insisting that they dispose of their butts in the appropriate bins, and smoke in the designated area in order to avoid getting into trouble with the law.
The ban doesn’t stop with just Pattaya either, but strethces into Cha-Am, Hua Hin, and Bang Saen, as well as in Rayong, Chantaburi, Pangnga, Pattani, Songkhla and on Koh Lanta and Koh Si Chang.
Several beach clean ups have taken place since a flood of complaints reached city hall regarding the terrible state, which probably explains why penalties are so severe with environment damage legislation is being used to deter smoking and the throwing of the butts on the beach.