The state and the private sectors in Phang Nga province have signed a memorandum of understanding to push forward with smoking ban at Khao Lak beach from the current two kilometre stretch to the entire 15 kilometre beach.
The agreement was reached and signed in their effort to make the entire beach free of smoking.
However they also made clear that smoking won't be banned definitely but will be allowed only in arranged areas where smokes won't disturb others.
The MOU was signed by director-general of the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources Mr Jatuporn Buruspat, Takua Pa district officer, Tambon administration official, tourism industry association, tour guide association, volunteer association and local police.
Under the agreement, they agreed to work together to protect marine and coastal resources along the 15-kilometre Khao Lak beach through PR campaign encouraging tourists to cooperate.
Posters and signs banning smoking will be erected on the beach, and leaflets will be distributed.
But Jatuporn said authorities do not prohibit tourists to smoke.
They still could smoke but in arranged areas so that smokes would not disturb other tourists sharing the same beach, he said.
This also would help lower the huge number of cigarette butts discarded on the beach.
Currently authorities only enforce smoking ban on the 2-kilometre stretch of the entire 15-kilometre long beach.
After the agreement, they would push forward the ban to cover the entire beach, he added.
Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)