City council passes amended smoking ban

New areas would include beaches in Honolulu and Waikiki parks

 UPDATED 2:15 PM HST Mar 20, 2013
HONOLULU -

The Honolulu City Council passed a bill Wednesday that would ban smoking at more places in Honolulu.

Smoking is already banned at the Honolulu Zoo, Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, Koko Crater Botanical Garden and the Waikiki Shell.

The amended proposal would include the Duke Paoa Kahanamoku Beach Park, Kapiolani Beach Park, Kapiolani Beach Park Center, Kapiolani Park, Kuhio Beach Park, Sandy Beach Park and all sandy beach areas of the Ala Moana Regional Park.

Councilman Stanley Chang says he has received a number of complaints about cigarette butts at some parks and beaches.

"There is and has been overwhelming support from the public to address the dangers of second-hand smoke for our millions of beachgoers, as well as the numerous cigarette butts on our beaches which threaten our ocean ecosystem and the beauty of our white sand beaches," said Chang.

Some visitors say they will be looking for beaches outside of Waikiki to enjoy a cigarette on the beach.

However, there is a concern that this bill could affect visitors from Asia.  In Japan, the smoking rate among adults was at 21.1 percent, as of May 2012.

The bill now goes to Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell for consideration.  Caldwell says he has not made a decision whether or not he backs the bill.

Click here to vote in a poll about the amended smoking ban.

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