New law makes smoking illegal at several Oahu beaches, parks

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Several south shore beaches will now be smoke-free zones.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell made it official on Monday, signing into law a bill that could cost you every time you light up.

Effective immediately, smokers won’t be able to light up on the sandy area at Ala Moana Beach Park, but there’s a catch for Waikiki, Kapiolani Beach Park and Sandy’s. Those won’t be off-limits to smokes right away.

Visitors to some of Oahu’s best beaches won’t have to take in cigarette smoke anymore while soaking up Hawaiian rays.

“I think that’s really good they are taking that away from the beach because a lot of families come down here and the smoke effects everyone down here and I personally don’t like secondhand smoke,” Hawaiian Oceans Beach Boy Berton Wong said.

Mayor Caldwell signed a bill into law, extending the City’s smoking ban to several south shore beaches and park areas.

“Well, okay. I’ll just put it away, hallelujah I’m trying to quit. It’s gonna make it easier,” smoker and beach goer Waikiki Wayne said.

The ban keeps smokers from lighting up on Waikiki Beach, at Kapiolani Beach Park, as well as Sandy Beach Park and the beach areas of Ala Moana Park.

“The health issues and the secondhand smoke isn’t a good thing, but everyone uses it as an ashtray. It wouldn’t be one of the most beautiful beaches in the world anymore,” visitor Edlyn Vancina said.

The new rules impact Ala Moana Beach immediately. There is some leeway, however, for the rest of south shore beaches on the smoking ban list.

Technically those areas are state owned and city run. For that reason, the mayor has to get approval from councilmembers to enforce a smoking ban at those beaches. That will take some time.

Smokers KHON2 talked to don’t seem too upset over the ban.

“Normally, I like to respect other people if they don’t smoke, so I usually go out of the beach where I live in Vancouver and I respect it,” visitor Lucy Sebastian said.

For anyone caught smoking at one of these beaches, it’s a $100 fine for the first offense, double that for anyone caught again in a year.

“Holy moly. Let’s just put this away right now. I ain’t got $100,” Wayne said.

“That’s quite a hefty fine, but it’s good. It shows they are serious about keeping off the beach,” Wong said.

Honolulu Police will be tasked with enforcing the ban.

It’s unclear if that will include putting up signs to alert beach goers.

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