No smok­ing at Thai beaches

New Straits Times - - World -

BANGKOK: The South­east Asia To­bacco Con­trol Al­liance (Seatca) strongly sup­ports Thai­land’s de­ci­sion to ban smok­ing in its pop­u­lar beaches next month to de­crease lit­ter and pol­lu­tion.

“We are very pleased with this news and we urge the gov­ern­ment to be strong in the en­force­ment, mon­i­tor the com­pli­ance and im­pose penalty strictly,” said Dr Domi­lyn Vil­lar­reiz, Seatca’s Smoke-Free Pro­gramme man­ager and sec­re­tary-gen­eral of Smoke-Free Cities Asia-Pa­cific Net­work (SCAN).

The ban would in­clude 20 beaches in the prov­inces of Phuket, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Chon Buri and Songkhla, Koh Sa­mui and Pat­taya.

Those caught smok­ing on beaches where it is pro­hib­ited could be fined up to 100,000 baht (RM12,700)or face im­pris­on­ment for up to a year.

The Ma­rine and Coastal Re­sources Depart­ment found be­tween 63,000 and 138,000 cig­a­rette butts on a 2.5km­stretch of Pa­tong Beach, Phuket.

Cig­a­rette butts ac­counted for a third of all beach waste col­lected by the depart­ment.

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