No smoking on Thai beaches from February 1st
After months of talk, the Thai government will trial a no smoking ban on Thai beaches for a total of 90 days, with huge penalties for those who break rules.
Starting Feb. 1, smoking will be strictly banned on all Thai beaches, which means having even a quick ciggie could land you in a Thai prison for a year or fined up to THB100,000 ($US3,000).
The 24 beaches that have banned smoking include some of the country’s most popular destinations, including Patong, Phuket; Hua Hin, Prachuap Khiri Khan; Bo Phut, Koh Samui; Chalok Baan Kao, Koh Phangan; Khao Lak, Pangha; and Kor Kwang, Krabi.
The ban will be anchored in the marine park law and comes on the heels of the shocking discovery of more than 60,000 cigarettes on a 2.5-kilometer stretch of sand on Phuket’s Patong beach.
In Patong, seven designated smoking areas have been set up across the beach this week, The Phuket News reported.
“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,” said Patpong Romyen, a Phuket official from the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources.