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Sophon Cable TV reported that a meeting held at City Hall announced that the authorities fully intended to get tough with smokers who defy the beach lighting up ban.
But while defiant smokers could face a 100,000 baht fine when the ban is enforced from February 1st no one mentioned the year in jail that was previously threatened.
While signage seems to suggest that other mess on the beach will also not be tolerated – “zero waste beach” is the sound bite.
The Pattaya ban will only apply to a one kilometer stretch of Jomtien known as Dongtan Beach. It will be applied to other Pattaya beaches later, said Sophon.
Head of the beach smoking committee Wuthiphon Jaroenphon said that Pattaya would be getting serious with smokers who defy the ban from February 1st 2018.
In the meantime PR campaigns and information drives are being carried out. Officials with signage that said “Smoke-free and Zero Waste Beach” were photographed by the media.
Signs will be in Thai, English and Chinese.
Wuthiphon said that the 44 beach umbrella and deckchair operators in Dongtan would undergoing training about the ban.
The Jomtien experiment will be like one in Patong, Phuket, said Sophon, with other Pattaya beaches to follow later.
The scheme to ban smoking is coming into force after a survey carried out by the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources found hundreds of thousands of butts were contaminating Thai beaches in Phuket.
It has variously been reported that a jail term could be applied along with the heavy fine but no mention was made of this possibility on the Sophon story on Facebook.