Thailand’s ban on cigarette smoking at all public beaches is not only meant to reduce waste but also protect visitors’ health, a senior government official said on Tuesday.
Department of Marine and Coastal Resources Director General Jatuporn Burutphat confirmed that the smoking ban at the public beaches will certainly deter the littering of wasteful cigarette butts and keep beachgoers from inhaling cigarette smoke.
Besides, the department chief said, cigarette butts contain nicotine and arsenic, among other chemicals, contaminate the water and adversely affect aquatic animals in the sea.
An estimated 100,000 cigarette butts are littered each of Thailand’s beaches in a year, according to Jatuporn.
The agency has launched a campaign to keep 24 famous beaches free of cigarette smoke, including Bang Saen beach, Patong beach and Hua Hin beach. Other beaches are yet to follow suit in foreseeable future, he said.
Under the smoke-free campaign, those who may smoke on the public beaches or dispose of cigarette butts at unpermitted spots are liable to a maximum of one year in jail or a maximum of 100,000 baht in fine, or both.
Times comment:- Not sure banning outdoor smoking will protect the health of non-smokers but getting rid of onerous cigarette butts from beaches is welcome.