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News Summary

Smoking ban in public is a victory for everyone's health

Publication Date: 11/2/2006
  • Publication:Honolulu Star-Bulletin

SMOKING bans that have been enforced by Hawaii's counties for more than three years will be broadened under a statewide law beginning in two weeks. The new law, enacted by this year's Legislature, has enormous public support and medical justification.

The law, similar to comprehensive bans in 13 other states, takes effect on Nov. 16, the day of the Great American Smokeout. Smoking will be prohibited in all bars and restaurants, including outdoor areas, throughout airports, other areas open to the public, such as stores, shopping malls and sports arenas, and within 20 feet of entrances, windows and ventilation intakes.

Smokers have complained over the years that the prohibitions infringe on their rights, arguing that smoking sections were adequate in protecting nonsmokers. Early studies asserting the danger of secondhand smoke were flawed, but more recent research has proven that it indeed places nonsmokers at considerable risk.