Pretty soon, sun-worshipping tourists and locals will be unable to light up their cigarettes in Thailand’s beaches.
Bangkok Post reports that the kingdom is planning to ban smoking in 20 popular beaches, including Phuket’s Patong beach. The law will come in full effect starting next month. Anyone caught smoking will be jailed for up to a year or will be fined by as much as US$3,000.
Here’s a partial list of areas from the Post where the ban will take effect, though there are plans to include all Thai beaches in the future: Mae Phim in Rayong; Laem Sing in Chanthaburi; Bang Saen, Pattaya and Tham Pang on Koh Si Chang in Chon Buri; Cha-am in Phetchaburi; and Hua Hin and Khao Takiap in Prachuap Khiri Khan.
According to the country’s Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR), cigarette butts account for a third of all rubbish collected in Phuket. At one point, there were more than 101,000 butts collected in a 2.5 kilometer area. The butts also clog the town’s drainage, which leads to flooding.
The DMCR says however that they will come up with smoking areas where nicotine-lovers can congregate without fear.