Smoking ban: Hua Hin says 2,000 baht fine would be reasonable as "beach police" at the ready
A representative of the Hua Hin authority has indicated that he thinks a 2,000 baht fine would be reasonable for smokers caught puffing on the resorts beaches next month.
The statement - reported by Thai Rath - came after alarm was caused Tuesday when environmental agencies announced a 20 beach ban that could lead to a year in jail and a 100,000 baht fine.
But - perhaps worryingly for smokers - Hua Hin also announced that "tetsakit", tourist police and what was termed "beach police" would be patrolling to enforce the ban.
The local TAT has also thrown their support behind the ban saying they want to make tourists happy.
Jirawat Phramanee of the Hua Hin local authority said regarding the fines that they were "looking into what is reasonable". He mentioned 2,000 baht.
The ban would apply to a 12 kilometer stretch of beach from the Centara Grand Beach Resort and Villa to Koh Tao beach.
Personally he said that he agrees with the ban as it is a public place and he wants to see cigarettes banned for sale in the area too.
Signs would be erected in three languages - Thai, English and Chinese. And there would be a designated smoking area on each beach.
He said that municipal officers (tetsakit), tourist police and what he termed "beach police" would be around to enforce the law.
Though he said he expected warnings would be issued first.
The ban is expected to come in on November 1st.
Meanwhile Orasa Awutkhom of the Prajuap tourist authority said she also agreed with the ban.
"Second hand smoke is annoying," she said, "and we want the tourists coming here to be happy. The ban will help to keep our beaches cleaner".
While Seksan Janthorn, a consumer advocate said that the authorities should announce what beaches have been given awards for cleanliness citing three south of Hua Hin that have achieved "five star" status.
These are Laem Sala, Sam Roi Yort in the national park and Ao Manao, he said.
Source: Thai Rath
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