Beach-going smokers will have to weigh a year in jail before lighting up next month. Starting Feb. 1, a smoking ban piloted late last year will go into effect at 24 beaches across 15 provinces. They include popular tourist destinations in Hua Hin, Pattaya, Phuket, Koh Samui and Koh Tao, coastal authorities said Wednesday. “We aren’t limiting the rights of people who want to smoke. There will be designated places to smoke near the beach,” Bannarak Sermthong, director at the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources said. “But on the beaches, smoking affects the health of families and little children who come on vacation.” Bannarak added that beach trash – especially cigarette butts – eventually pollute the water and harm sea life by entering their food chain. The maximum penalty for smoking on the beach will be a fine of 100,000 baht and a year in jail. Bannarak said that...
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