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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 630; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040630

Cigarette Waste in Popular Beaches in Thailand: High Densities that Demand Environmental Action

1
Faculty of Public Health, Mahidol University, Bangkok 10400, Thailand
2
Center of Excellence on Environmental Health and Toxicology, Bangkok 10400, Thailand
3
Tobacco Control Research and Knowledge Management Center, Bangkok 10400, Thailand
4
Insight Analysis Group, Corte Madera, CA 94925, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 12 February 2018 / Revised: 18 March 2018 / Accepted: 23 March 2018 / Published: 29 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
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Abstract

Thailand, like all nations, has a responsibility to initiate environmental actions to preserve marine environments. Low- and middle-income countries face difficulties implementing feasible strategies to fulfill this ambitious goal. To contribute to the revitalization of Thailand’s marine ecosystems, we investigated the level of tobacco product waste (TPW) on Thailand’s public beaches. We conducted a cross-sectional observational survey at two popular public beaches. Research staff collected cigarette butts over two eight-hour days walking over a one-kilometer stretch of beach. We also compiled and analyzed data on butts collected from sieved sand at 11 popular beaches throughout Thailand’s coast, with 10 samples of sieved sand collected per beach. Our survey at two beaches yielded 3067 butts in lounge areas, resulting in a mean butt density of 0.44/m2. At the 11 beaches, sieved sand samples yielded butt densities ranging from 0.25 to 13.3/m2, with a mean butt density of 2.26/m2 (SD = 3.78). These densities show that TPW has become a serious problem along Thailand’s coastline. Our findings are comparable with those in other countries. We report on government and civil society initiatives in Thailand that are beginning to address marine TPW. The solution will only happen when responsible parties, especially and primarily tobacco companies, undertake actions to eliminate TPW. View Full-Text
Keywords: tobacco product waste; cigarettes; butts; tobacco; water pollution; marine environment; beach; Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); Thailand; low- and middle-income countries; (LMICs); Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN); policymaking tobacco product waste; cigarettes; butts; tobacco; water pollution; marine environment; beach; Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); Thailand; low- and middle-income countries; (LMICs); Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN); policymaking
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Kungskulniti, N.; Charoenca, N.; Hamann, S.L.; Pitayarangsarit, S.; Mock, J. Cigarette Waste in Popular Beaches in Thailand: High Densities that Demand Environmental Action. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 630.

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