By Maui Now Staff
Starting today, all state parks and beaches are smoke-free under a new bill signed into law last week.
Here in Maui County, a bill that effectively banned tobacco use at county parks, beaches and recreational facilities  became law last year.
The state law goes into effect today, and applies to all facilities within the Hawai‘i State Park System administered by the Department of Land and Natural Resources.
Under the new law the use of all tobacco products and electronic smoking devices, or e-cigarettes are banned from use at the facilities. It applies to all areas of the parks, including beaches, picnic and camping areas, trails and roadways.
Act 123 went into effect as of July 1, 2015.
Hawaiʻi’s State Park system is composed of 50 state parks encompassing approximately 30,000 acres on 5 major islands. The park environments range from landscaped grounds with developed facilities to wildland areas with trails and primitive facilities.
Penalties for violation of the new law are $100 for a first offense, $200 for a second offense and $500 for subsequent offenses. The law is enforceable by both DLNR DOCARE officers and county police officers.
“Hawaii’s State Parks are important for public enjoyment of natural and wilderness areas, recreational activities, cultural and historic sites. We ask the public’s compliance with this new law,” said Dan Quinn, State Parks administrator in a press release.
Suzanne Case, DLNR Chairperson also commented saying, “Protecting these areas from danger of wildfire that could affect native and endangered species, reducing trash and pollution, and ensuring the health of all members of the public while enjoying the outdoors is a significant benefit we anticipate.”