Pattaya Beach will see its first anti-smoking rally March 6 as city hall tries to implement a beach smoking ban citywide.
Deputy Mayor Vichien Pongpanit chaired a Feb. 23 meeting on the first smoking ban public relations event outside Dongtan Beach. He estimated 85 percent of people visiting Dongtan now understand and follow the smoking prohibition and predicted that number will reach 100 percent within a month.
The challenge now is to bring the ban on smoking to Pattaya and Naklua beaches. The first step was to educate beach chair vendors, who signed on to the effort by collecting 110,000 cigarette butts.
The butts were given to the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources for analysis.
The March 6 event will include an exhibition on the health dangers of cigarettes and the negative effects of throwing butts on the beach.
Officials explained that once cigarette tobacco hits the salt water it releases cadmium, lead, arsenic and insecticidal derivatives poisonous to fish and marine life.
Like in Dongtan, Pattaya Beach will get designated smoking areas and signs are being posted warning smokers of the 100,000 baht fine and year-long prison sentence possible by breaking the law.