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Beach smoking ban: Pattaya beach operators and tourists agree but PR blitz needed

Sophon Cable TV reported that deckchair operators on the beach in Pattaya broadly agreed with the smoking bad announced this week.

But they felt that more was needed to inform tourists of what to expect.

Suwan Penthong, 50, said that she agreed with the ban as many people were allergic to or annoyed by second hand cigarette smoke and would be happy. She stressed the need for there to be zones where smokers could still enjoy a puff.

Wanchai Lertnirandorn, 57, also agreed with the ban as it would have a positive impact on the environment.

But he suggested that more needed to be done to inform tourists about the regulations and that PR needed to be stepped up.

Both operators said there would be an impact on tourism but it was not necessarily detrimental.

Meanwhile Sophon spoke to tourist Ronald Kuiters, 66, from the Netherlands, who said that even though he was a smoker he supported the ban too.

He said there were plenty of places to smoke and on the beach with other people around was not one of them.

A ban has been introduced not just in Pattaya but at a total of 20 beaches nationwide from November 1st.

Should it prove successful it will be expanded in the future.

No mention was made in the Sophon story about the year jail and 100,000 baht fine that could be levied for those that break the law.

This has caused much controversy particularly among non-Thais fearing that the punishments could be used as leverage for unscrupulous officials in extorting money.

Thaivisa notes that the penalties are so harsh because environmental not littering laws have been invoked.

Thai Visa / Sophon Cable

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