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Ask the Mayor: Who Do I Notify About Smoking in the Workplace in Maui County?

September 3, 2017, 12:44 PM HST (Updated September 3, 2017, 12:44 PM) · 0 Comments
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Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the questions submitted to his staff. Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the “Ask the Mayor” column. Submit your own questions about County of Maui programs, services, operations or policies to Mayor Alan Arakawa at (808) 270-7855,  AskTheMayor@mauicounty.gov  or mail them to 200 S. High St., 9th Floor, Wailuku, HI 96793.

Mayor Arakawa:

Q: Who do I need to call to complain about smoking being allowed in the bathroom at my workplace? I know it’s against the law to smoke inside a workplace, but my employer continues to ignore the fact that many employees smoke inside our one men’s restroom, which is inside the building! It’s as if my civil rights are being violated by this practice, so would the ACLU be the organization to complain to?

A: Good question. The best way to lodge an anonymous complaint is to call the state Department of Health’s (DOH) Tobacco Prevention and Education program, which will send a letter to your employer explaining the law, signage requirements and potential fines for violations.

Copies of the letter will also be sent to police, the chamber of commerce and other agencies putting them on notice that your employer or building owner or manager has been informed of their responsibility to ensure that smoking does not occur as prohibited by law.

Hawaii Revised Statute (HRS) [§328J‑4] says that “smoking shall be prohibited in all enclosed or partially enclosed areas of places of employment.”

To call the DOH Tobacco Prevention and Education program toll-free, dial (888) 810-8112.

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To view smoking- and tobacco cessation-related information online, visit health.hawaii.gov/tobacco or www.hiphi.org.

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