Maui’s Ing Introduces Ban on Smoking at Public Beaches
By Wendy Osher
A ban on smoking on all public beaches in Hawaiʻi will be considered at a joint hearing before two House committees today.
Last year, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell signed into law an ordinance passed by the city council that banned smoking at public beaches on Oʻahu.
The statewide legislation to expand the ban to all beaches in the state, was introduced by Representative Kaniela Ing of Maui during the last legislative session.
House Bill 325 was carried over to 2014 Regular Session and comes up for consideration before the Water and Land Committee and the Ocean, Marine Resources and Hawaiian Affairs Committee.
Ing says that at a recent beach cleanup on Maui, volunteers picked up more than 14,000 cigarette butts from the beach in just two hours.
“In addition to the health risks to smokers and risks caused by second-hand smoke, cigarette butts are still the primary cause of litter in Hawaiʻi,” said Ing in a legislative press release. “Smoke-free beaches will preserve the aesthetics of our shoreline, promote the health of beach goers, and protect our delicate marine ecosystems,” he said.
If the bill passes the two committees, it then goes to the House Judiciary Committee for further review.