Thailand has started to implement its smoking ban on 24 of its popular beaches in 15 provinces to decrease environmental litter and pollution starting 1 February.
SEATCA is very pleased with this and urge the government to be strong in the enforcement, monitor compliance and impose the penalty strictly.
Those caught smoking on beaches where it is prohibited could be fined up to THB 100,000 (more or less US$ 3,000) 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 2.5-kilometer stretch of Patong Beach, Phuket. Discarded cigarette butts accounted for a third of all beach waste collected by the department.
Smoke-free beaches provide families and children healthy environments in which they are not exposed to the health harms of secondhand smoke (SHS). Even brief exposure can cause immediate and serious health harms according to SEATCA Smoke-free Program Manager Dr. Domilyn Villarreiz.