Smoking banned on Thai beaches

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Thai authorities have banned smoking on many of Thailand’s popular tourist beaches. The measure will apply to 20 beaches, including some in popular tourist location, Phuket.

The ban comes after the country’s Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR) said it retrieved tens of thousands of cigarette butts from the sand, making up one-third of all rubbish collected from the beaches. The ban will come into effect next month, and could carry a year in prison for those caught, or a fine of around £2,200.

The head of the DMCR, Jatuporn Buruspat, said that an environmental group collected 138,000 butts from a 2.5 km stretch of Patong beach in Phuket. He said that there will be designated areas for smokers further inland on those beaches affected by the ban. If the measure is successful, it will be rolled out onto beaches all over Thailand.

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