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No Butts! Phuket beach cigarette ban to invoke B100k fine, 90-day ‘grace campaign’ underway

PHUKET: Officials from the Phuket office of the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR) have launched their campaign to inform beachgoers of the ban on smoking cigarettes at Patong Beach that came into effect yesterday (Nov 1).

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By Tanyaluk Sakoot

Thursday 2 November 2017, 01:29PM


The event marked the start of a 90-day amnesty period before DMCR officials will start charging people for breaching Section 17 of the 2015 law on marine and beach resources management – which means that people caught smoking on Patong Beach after the 90-day amnesty may face a fine of up to B100,000 or even up to one year in jail for a breach of the act.

However, DMCR Director-General Jatuporn Buruspat has confirmed to The Phuket News that the penalties specified under the new ban will now also be applied to people caught littering or dumping any rubbish on the listed protected beaches.

Local authorities responsible for 24 beaches in 15 provinces met at the Government Complex Convention Centre in Bangkok on Tuesday (Oct 31) to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to confirm their stance on supporting the ramped up penalties available to enforce the smoking ban and the move to prevent litter on the beaches, Director Jatuporn told The Phuket News yesterday.

“November 1 is the first day of the campaign. We are starting by informing people in the Patong area about how this ministerial rule by law will be enforced. Then, after 90 days, we will begin fining people.

“The law will be enforced properly from February 2018, when officials will fine people who break this law,” Director Jatuporn warned.

Mr Jatuporn reiterated that the heavy-handed law was introduced after an inspection of nine square metres by 10 centimetres depth of a section of sand on Patong Beach that yielded an average of 0.76 cigarette ends per square metre.

“This is an estimated average of about 101,058 cigarette ends along the 2.5 kilometre stretch of Patong Beach,” he said.

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Also present to sign the MoU in Bangkok on Tuesday was Patong Mayor Chalermluck Kebsup, following her inspection of seven dedicated smoking areas created by Patong Municipality for tourists along the Patong boardwalk.

“Patong officials must cooperate with them [the DMCR] on this project. It is our direct responsibility because it is in our area,” Mayor Chalermluck told The Phuket News.

“We have three months to inform as many people as we can. We have created seven smoking areas along the Patong beachfront with warning signs and more dedicated smoking areas will be created,” she added.

Phuket DMCR official Patpong Romyen and three other officers on Wednesday began their efforts by informing people who work along Patong Beach, such as jet-ski and parasail operators, as well as food and drink vendors, among others.

“They have to understand this information and inform their own customers about it,” Mr Patpong.

“We will have a total of 18 smoking areas along the beachfront and we will have signs warning people about the law. We will post signs in multiple languages so foreign tourists can learn about the law,” he added.

“Next, we will work together with Patong Municipality to conduct a public-information campaign. We will talk with them to come up with the details and action plan next week.”

 

 

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Sir Burr | 05 November 2017 - 16:02:46

All garbage bins were removed for security reasons just days after the Bali bombing. They have never been replaced.

Christy Sweet | 04 November 2017 - 11:58:11

Wake up Thai people, and stop trashing the nation.  Illegal vendors selling food in Sirinat National Marine park are a major source of garbage. Their styrofoam,  plastic cups and implements cover the beach. Additionally it appears park staff have  a dump that  sits right on a canal that feeds out into Layan Bay, twice a day at low tide it functions as a conveyor of trash into the sea. 

Kurt | 03 November 2017 - 16:12:30

Anyway, this is just official office bla bla, from officials sitting on their hands, but same time they tell their executive staff ( do they have them?) not to be serious in their 'enforcement'.
That always works here! Right?

A 90 day 'grace campaign?  That is more thn half a high season!
By the time the 90 days finish, all thai officials already have forgotten their cigarette end...

Kurt | 03 November 2017 - 15:54:10

Is it not funny that this subject is just about cigarette ends but not about all the plastic/Styrofoam stuff,  elsewhere bought meal plastic contents by thai left at the beaches, shuffled below bushes and trees at sitting locations were foreigners not sit.

And were are the garbage bins?
Last year a foreign initiative brought for free many garbage bins to the beaches! ( was reported in PN with ...

Eagle | 03 November 2017 - 11:47:42

...will arrest any thai...!Are only Thais smoking on the beach? I thought beaches are mostly frequented by tourists.Are those smoking  tourists taking all their buds back to a garbage bin?

Fascinated | 03 November 2017 - 09:42:34

Great- another 'tourist tax'. Feed the fish- 10,000 baht, a cigarette butt- 100k. 

Be a minibus driver and hit 4 other vehicles in Cherng Talay B500. 

Kurt | 02 November 2017 - 19:38:17

Pathetic!  Which thai official will arrest any thai during their beach weekend eating/drinking/smoking, and leaving all the sh... behind their butts?
After all these thai have no time to spend time in prison, they have families to feed!

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