If you’ve visited Sharks Cove lately, you may have noticed the new No Smoking signs that have been installed.
The City & County of Honolulu and Hawai‘i County passed new smoke-free laws, which were effective January 1, 2014. O‘ahu first issued Bill 72, the smoke-free beaches law, last year, and now Bill 25 extends the prohibition of smoking to all Honolulu C&C beaches and parks and Bill 28 bans smoking within a 20-foot diameter of City bus stops. Both Bills are now in full effect.
Smoking is now prohibited by law at all City and County of Honolulu:
- tennis courts
- botanical gardens
- swimming pools
- athletic fields
- beach right-of-ways
- park roadways
- all recreation areas
The smoking ban applies to the whole park. At beaches this includes parking areas, park roadways and the park as well as the beach. People who break this law can be fined $100 for the first offence and more for subsequent offences.
Why cigarette butts are harmful:
Cigarette butts are the most littered plastic item on Hawai‘i’s beaches and in the world and they are made from toxic chemicals including arsenic, hydrogen cyanide and formaldehyde. Ingestion of just one or two cigarette butts by young children will result in poisoning or death. Within an hour of contact with water, cigarette butts leach toxic chemicals into the water that kill fish and other marine life. The new laws banning smoking at beaches will result in a healthier, cleaner environment that is safe for young children, all beach goers (who won’t be inhaling second-hand smoke) and marine life (that won’t be harmed from cigarette butts washing into the ocean at high tide).
If you smoke, or know someone who does, stop by our Saturday Outreach Tent for a free “butt” box, a portable cigarette ash tray (while supplies last).