Honolulu mayor signs two smoking bans

Published On: Jul 21 2013 05:16:00 PM HST

Two bills banning smoking were signed by Honolulu's mayor. It's sparked anger in many smokers, lighting up won't be allowed at all 284 city parks and beaches on Oahu, and 4,000 bus stops islandwide.

"I think it'll stop people from smoking. I won't take the chance," said smoker Mark Baker.

Some smokers are already looking for ways around the new law, pointing out that the state, not the city controls the area from the high water mark to the water's edge and into the ocean. But at Kuhio Beach Park the city received an executive order from the Department of Land and Natural Resources to enforce the rules into the water. But, without more police officers patrolling for smokers, it may be hard to enforce.

"I do believe those in restaurants, and here in parks, when you see people smoking, I know I've told people 'By the way it's against the law to smoke in enclosed areas,' so it also depends on us to say 'Hey, you can't smoke here,'" said Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell.

Environmentalists are happy there will be less butts on the beach. Volunteers picked up more than 1,300 cigarette butts on Kuhio Beach just within a hour. The butts they say are not biodegradable since they're made out of a type of woven plastic.

"Cigarette butts are the most littered plastic item in the world and the most littered plastic item on our beaches. They are not just ordinary liter they are dangerous toxic liter," said Suzanne Frazer, with environmental awareness campaign B.E.A.C.H.

City crews will start putting up stickers and signs warning people of the new smoking ban. However, the law won't take effect until Jan. 1.

The fine for getting caught lighting up the first time is $100. The third offense is $500. The ban excludes open areas at municipal golf courses.


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