Beginning January 2014, the air at the beaches of Oahu, Hawaii will become a virtual paradise as smokers are prohibited from lighting up there and some other public areas. Personally, I’m all for the ban, but, I can see the reason smokers are going to be having conniptions over what they see as their “right” to smoke wherever they want.
The ban is to take effect at the first of next year.
Smoking in Public Places Ban Includes:
- parks and playgrounds
- basketball and tennis courts
- softball fields
- public pools
- bus stops
Curiously, the ban was unanimously approved by the Honolulu City Council and does not apply to municipal golf courses.
It has been against Oahu, Hawaii Law to smoke within twenty feet of the entrances to:
- other places of employment
Hanauma Bay snorkeling spot has enjoyed a smoking ban since 1993.
Where exactly is considered the beach no smoking area?
The state Department of Land and Natural Resources for most beaches will enforce the new law from the high water mark to the water’s edge. But, beachgoers at Kuhio Beach Park won’t be permitted to smoke in the water either!
The penalties ($100-500) are fairly severe, but probably won’t stop some people from doing what they want anyway – risking getting caught. After all, people continually speed in their vehicles and pay hundreds of dollars in fines and get points on their drivers licenses that affects insurance rates. Will $100 keep someone from smoking? Apparently the fines scale for repeated offenses, but still… there will be people doing whatever they want. Is a billionaire with a smoking addiction going to hold off, or sneak one?
Guess who is going to enforce the ban…
Would you believe, THE LIFEGUARDS? How in the world are they going to keep people safe in the water, while worrying about someone smoking on the beach? I hope they rethink this ridiculousness.
So, what do you think about this new smoking ban? Is Oahu going to become a police state next? Are girls that are smoking hot going to get a ticket and fine? Will homeless people be thrown in jail for it, and, is this a way to give police another way to get rid of people they don’t want around any longer? Will a 13 year old be fined? Can you walk around with an unlit cigarette or cigar in your mouth just to tease the police into coming to see what you’re doing? What if you refuse to take the smoke out of your mouth – will they TASER you for it?
The answers to these, and other questions, no doubt coming soon after the first of next year.
[Image credit - miggslives at flickr.com]