Holidaymakers caught smoking on beaches in Thailand could be given a year-long prison sentence after the introduction of a smoking ban next month.
The new rules will apply to up to 20 beaches, including those in the popular tourist haunt of Phuket.
It comes after the country’s Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR) said hundreds of thousands of cigarette butts had been left in the sand, with 138,000 picked up on a 1.5-mile stretch of Patong beach in Phuket alone.
There will be designated areas further inland where smokers will be able drop their litter in provided containers.
The penalty for violating the ban is up to a year in prison or a fine of up to 100,000 baht (£2,280).
It will come into effect next month and apply to beaches in the provinces of Phuket, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Chon Buri and Songkhla, and includes the popular resorts of Koh Samui and Pattaya, according to the Bangkok Post.
The ban could be extended to all beaches if it is successful.
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