Thailand is to ban smoking at some of the country’s most popular tourist beaches, after a recent survey highlighted littering with cigarette butts as a major problem on the beaches.

The ban will impose a prison sentence up to one year for violators, reported The Guardaian. It will come into effect from November.

The survey at Patong beach, Phuket, had found 101,058 butts on the 2.5km-long stretch of sand, raising concerns by the officials, with the department of marine and coastal resources, describing it as a “serious problem”.

Twenty beaches including Patong, Koh Khai Nok, Koh Khai Nai (Phuket); Hua Hin, Cha-Am, Khao Takiab (western province of Prachuap Khiri Khan); Pattaya, Jomtien, Bangsaen (eastern province of Chonburi) and Samila (Songkhla city) will be covered under the ban.

The ban is later to be expanded to all other beaches in the country.

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