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Smoking on the beach banned

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Signs will be erected in three languages - Thai, English and Chinese.

Pat Waterton, manager at Langley Travel, said she was unaware of the ban. A local resident in Krabi, Bodin Klasamut, said if the ban took effect, the relevant authorities should make sure there were designated smoking zones.

He said Phuket, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Chon Buri and Songkhla provinces had agreed to jointly invoke Section 17 of the 2015 law on marine and beach resources management as a trial measure and ban smoking at 20 beaches from next month.

As told the head of the Department of marine and coastal resources of Thailand Chetuphon Boraphet (Jatuporn Buruspat), Smoking causes significant damage to marine and coastal resources.

Those found flouting the ban could face a maximum penalty of a year in prison and/or a fine of 100,000 baht.

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Jatuporn said he chose to take action after the Andaman Coastal Resources Research and Development Centre found in a recent survey that there were anything from 63,000 to 138,000 cigarette butts on a 2.5-kilometre stretch of Patong Beach.

According to Bangkok Post, the ban, effective from November 1, will be imposed on popular beaches across Thailand, including Patong beach in the southern city of Phuket, the eastern city of Pattaya and Hua Hin and Cha Am south of the capital. Based on a sampling survey of a 9-square-metre area to a depth of 10 centimeters, the figure was estimated. The survey found an average of 0.76 cigarette butt per square metre of sand. "And then when the chemicals from the cigarette butts reach the water, it also releases cadmium, lead, arsenic and some acid from insecticide which are poison to the natural food chain", said Buruspat to Phuket Gazette.

Buruspat said that his team had collected up to 138,000 cigarette butts on a 2.5km stretch of Patong beach in Phuket.

More than 20 popular beaches in Thailand are to become smoking free areas as measures to prevent people from smoking in the beach have been implemented. "Doing that allows for a high possibility of cigarette butts being dropped in the sand".

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