Signs going up warning of city smoking ban

By Justin Fujioka
Published On: Dec 19 2013 04:57:12 PM HST
Updated On: Dec 19 2013 05:06:19 PM HST

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell putting up no smoking signs at Thomas Square Park as a preemptive notification of the smoking ban in public parks that will be in effect at the beginning of 2014.

HONOLULU -

No smoking signs are going up at city parks and bus stops two weeks ahead of a ban that goes into effect in the new year.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell put up one of those signs at Thomas Square on Thursday.

He signed two bills in July banning smoking at all city parks, beaches and within 20 feet of bus stops.

"The law doesn't kick in in many of these parks until the 1st, but we want to start educating people," said Caldwell. "It's hard to enforce when the person doesn't know it's prohibited. So the police have asked us to put up these signs cause it helps them then enforce and issue citations."

The mayor said the city is spending about $100,000 for the new signs, which will slowly go up through the end of next year.

"Some people say, 'Wow, that's a lot of money to be spending on signs.' Secondhand smoke, you save one life, what is it worth? If you save two lives, what is it worth? What if it's your wife's life or your daughter's life from secondhand smoke? So I think it's worth it," he said.

The law does not include e-cigarettes.

The fine for getting caught lighting up the first time is $100. Three or more offenses will cost you $500.

The ban excludes open areas at municipal golf courses.

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