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Phuket Poll: Patong Beach smoking ban wins support, but not heavy-handed penalties

PHUKET: The ban smoking at Patong Beach has gained a majority of support in an online poll by The Phuket News, though only a clear minority support the ban in its current heavy-handed form.

tourismenvironmenthealthopinion
By The Phuket News

Monday 20 November 2017, 11:05AM


A DMCR official walks towards tourists on Patong Beach to explain the smoking ban. Photo: The Phuket News / file

A DMCR official walks towards tourists on Patong Beach to explain the smoking ban. Photo: The Phuket News / file

The ban by the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR) technically came into effect on Nov 1.

However, instead of instantly enforcing the heavy penalties – a fine of up to B100,000, or even up to one year in jail – DMCR officials opted to launch a 90-day “grace period” while they roll out a public awareness campaign.

As such, no people will be charged until Feb 1, DMCR Director-General Jatuporn Buruspat assured The Phuket News.

So far the ban is to be introduced at 24 beaches in the country, but in Phuket only at Patong Beach. Until further notice, the ban is not to apply to any other beaches on the island, Mr Jatuporn said. (See story here.)

The heavy penalties stirred a storm of debate online, with some people voicing their full support for the move, while others say the penalties are far too heavy for such an offense – and that was before it was made clear that using e-cigarettes, or “vaping”, was also included in the ban. (See story here.)

To this, The Phuket News asked readers, “How serious should the beach smoking ban be?”

Only 21% of respondents voted, “I fully support the ban and the penalties. The ban with these penalties should be enforced at all beaches.”

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A further 36% voted, “I support the ban, but the new heavy penalties are outrageous. Police have for years already had the option of fining people B2,000 for littering.”

However, 43% of all respondents to the poll voted, “It’s ridiculous. There should be no ban on smoking at beaches at all.”

To see the full poll results, click here.

If your preferred response is not available, feel free to add it in the comments below.

To see the results of our previous poll, asking “Where should Phuket croc ‘Leypang’ go?”, click here.


If you have a suggestion for a poll, email execeditor@classactmedia.co.th with “Poll Suggestion” in the Subject line.

 

 

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BenPendejo | 20 November 2017 - 12:00:41

Clearly, the 43% of respondents that voted, “It’s ridiculous. There should be no ban on smoking at beaches at all.” are smokers, many of which can sit at the beach all day choking me and my wife and kids with their poison smoke, then stuffing the stubs in the sand. And it is stupid that the ban is limited to Patong. Prettier beaches like Kata, Karon, Surin and Naithon are the ones to protect...

Kurt | 20 November 2017 - 11:40:23

This whole 'ban' works out very funny.
Punishment wise it becomes effective after a 3 month 'grace period', exactly when the Phuket high season is over. 

It was about beach pollution, yes?
The untreated illegal but accepted by government officials, release of untreated polluted waste water at Phuket beaches is more environmental harmful.
Not only for beach environment, but al...

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