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Flying the flag on Phuket for good health at Cape Promthep

Phuket Sun Sets on Smoking Tourists

Friday, December 10, 2010
TOURISTS from China, Korea and Indonesia are likely to be dismayed at a new order banning smoking outdoors at Phuket's popular Cape Promthep and around the lagoon at nearby Nai Harn.

In a progressive move towards better health, Phuket's first ban on smoking in an outdoor area will go into action from January 1.

Seven warning signs in five languages already dot the cape area with two more at the Nai Harn lagoon.

People who puff despite the ban will incur a 2000 baht fine. However, the countries where Phuket has most to lose also happen to be the ones showing a greatest increase in arrivals: China, Indonesia, Korea, and Russia.

Only in Russia are authorities reacting, producing packs with ''smoking kills'' warnings this year for the first time.

In Indonesia, two-year-olds are sometimes encouraged to smoke. In China, where two trillion cigarettes are inhaled each year, smoking is not only indulged after dinner but during dinner. In Korea, the number of smokers increased this year to almost a quarter of the population, with 43 percent of men admitting to being puffers.

So the Mayor of Rawai, Aroon Sorod, is boldly making a statement that ties Phuket with good health by implementing the ban. The notion is to prevent non-smokers inhaling smoke or deadly air exhaled by smokers.

How will tourists react?

Judging by what we know of the habits of Chinese and Korean tourists who smoke, we believe the puffers will light up in the car park out of habit.

Then they will enter the no-smoking zone, timing their visit to the the sunset viewing area at Cape Promthep so that they are not without a fix for too long.

The no-smoking zone begins at the foot of the stairs, which are long enough to be a test for the fitness of non-smokers as well as smokers.

Nearby at the Nai Harn lagoon, the smoking ban will also be imposed in support of the healthy activities performed by joggers, cyclists and walkers. The only puffers here will be those breathing fresh air.

Phuket already bans smoking in air-conditioned premises, including restaurants.
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Comments

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Excellent news (ex-smoker's point of view).

Posted by Mike Boyd on December 10, 2010 16:59

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What's the point of imposing bans, limiting smoking, when nobody enforces them, anyway. The laws implemented several years ago, to regulate smoking are a complete failure. If you go into a convience store, look at the cigarettes illegally displayed. Half of the time the fancy louvered display cases are wide open. They should be closed. Open air resturants and bars are to have segregated, designated, smoking areas, so that non-smokers can have a clean air. Would someone please show me an open air establishment that has a designated smoking area? Other bans at Nai Harn have not been enforced. The dog leash law there is a joke. The regulation states that all dogs must be leashed until 8:30AM, and then no dogs are allowed, on the beach until the next morning. This ban was implemented several years ago and is not enforced. Over a one week period you see dozens of pet owners completely ignoring this regulation.

New regulations, not enforced, are a waste of effort. I do hope the regulations work and spread to other parts of the island. Clean air for everyone would be great! Enforcement and education is vital, to make this happen.

Posted by BBJ on December 10, 2010 20:16

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Got to go with BBJ below they really seam to love Symbolism around here and on occasion a few extra baht at some poor tourists' expense to pay for it.

Posted by mike on December 10, 2010 21:39

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more likely another chance to shake down tourists for "fines."

Posted by mikey on December 10, 2010 23:39

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I walk regularly around Nai Harn lagoon and the problem is not so much the cigarettes as the constant burning of rubbish. Local authorities were recently quoted in the press as saying that this burning is "absolutely banned", but on any given day it is quite normal to be breathing a toxic fog in Rawai and Nai Harn.

Consequently, this exposes the true intent of the new law. Fines for burning rubbish would not be profitable as a high percentage of the rubbish burners either don't have the money to pay the fine or are connected enough that they wouldn't be fined.

But a puffing Farang is an easy mark. And the many workers in that Burmese construction crew that smoke their homemade stogies as they walk around the lagoon on their way to and from the job site are also ripe for a shakedown.

Posted by Treelover on December 11, 2010 08:48

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I agree with BBJ and mikey.

Sounds like the Thesakij littering scam from BKK in the making.

Those BMA officers, as witnessed and documented by Bangkok Post reporters, exclusively targetted foreigners with a littering fine, using coercion including intimidation to force them to pay.

A similar "campaign" against foreigners is the last thing Phuket tourism needs right now.

The nationalities currently being the lifeline of Phuket tourism will be the ones hardest hit.

Go ahead and bleed the goose that lays the golden egg to death.

Posted by Chris on December 11, 2010 09:13

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Burning is absolutely banned?
Walking often on the Pier in Chalong it's like a game: How many fires (smoke) can I count today? As far as my old eyes can see, from Rawai via Chalong in direction to Phuket-City, the record stands at lucky number 13...
More news tomorrow as I will count again today...

Posted by herbert on December 11, 2010 10:13

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Smokers rebel
They can't put everyone in jail

Posted by Thomas Laprade on December 11, 2010 10:42


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