Smoking Banned on Popular Tourist Beaches | Thailand

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Krabi Beach in Thailand

Thailand has banned smoking and littering at 24 popular beaches in an effort to protect its coastal environment, according to the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources. These beaches, in 15 provinces, include several in major tourist destinations such as Phuket, Koh Samui and Krabi. Thailand is home to 357 beaches, and over 30 million tourists each year.

Starting on February 1, smoking and the the littering of cigarettes butts and packets, will be met with a fine of100,000 baht ($3,190). Violators of this ban could also face up to one year in jail. Tourists will, however, be given warnings during the first few months of the implementation of the ban. This grace period is yet to be clearly defined.

A long tail boat on Krabi Beach on Phi Phi Island, Thailand.
Protecting Marine Life

This ban comes amidst numerous environmental concerns regarding Thailand’s palm-fringed beaches. Frequently voted among the world’s most beautiful beaches, they still suffer from unregulated development and littering, among other things. Officials are also considering measures to tackle cigarette butts dropped from boats by tourists.

An inspection of local beaches by the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources, including in the resort towns of Hua Hin and Khao Takiab reported that cigarette butts account for over 30% of the waste found on beaches in Thailand. Cigarette butts are extremely toxic to marine life.

Phangan beach, with its white sand and crystal clear water
The twenty four beaches where smoking is currently banned are:
  1. Patong Beach, Phuket
  2. Bo Phut Beach, Koh Samui
  3. Phra Ae Beach, Krabi
  4. Khlong Dao Beach, Krabi
  5. Khok Wang Beach, Krabi
  6. Wasukree Beach, Pattani
  7. Hua Hin Beach, Prachuap Khiri Khan
  8. Khao Takiab Beach, Prachuap Khiri Khan
  9. Ban Cheun Beach, Trat
  10. Laem Sade Beach, Chanthaburi
  11. Saeng Chan Beach, Rayong
  12. Bang Kaen Beach, Chon Buri
  13. Tham Pang Beach, Chon Buri
  14. Sai Kaeo Beach, Chon Buri
  15. Dong Tan Beach, Chon Buri
  16. Cha-am Beach, Phetchaburi
  17. Hat Said Res Beach, Champhon
  18. Chalok Ban Kao Beach, Ko Phangan, Surat Thani
  19. Plai Sai Beach, Nakhon Si Thammarat
  20. Chalatat Beach, Songkhla
  21. Ko Kai Nok Beach, Phang-nga
  22. Ko Kai Nai Beach, Phang-nga
  23. Khao Lak Beach, Phang-nga
  24. Hat Samran Beach, Trang

Those who want to smoke will be expected to do so in designated smoking areas, not on the beaches. More beaches are set to be added to the ban over the coming months.

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