Courtesy of Reason.com
Courtesy of Reason.com

HONOLULU – Beach Environmental Awareness Campaign Hawai`i (B.E.A.C.H.) is educating the community about the new smoking ban that is in effect now at several beaches.  Those beaches where smoking is banned now are: Kapiolani Beach (which includes Kaimana Beach), Kuhio Beach, Sandy Beach, Duke Kahanamoku Beach and Ala Moana Beach.  The ban applies to the whole beach park at every beach except for Ala Moana where the ban is on the sand only (this year) and next year the ban will be extended to the whole park.  Kapiolani Park is also smoke-free now too.

Next year starting on 1st January, 2014 the smoking ban will be extended to all other City and County of Honolulu parks which includes beaches, parks, playgrounds, swimming pools, tennis courts, botanical gardens, athletic fields, beach right-of-ways, park roadways and all recreation areas.

To educate the community about the current smoke-free beaches law (Bill 72) and the island-wide ban (Bill 25) starting next year, B.E.A.C.H. volunteers have spent many hours creating information cards, posters, flyers, signs and other informational handouts which are being used by the City and County of Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation, lifeguards, hotels, tour guides (who are making announcements to visitors in other langauges) and taxi drivers to help inform residents as well as visitors of the new laws.
B.E.A.C.H. is also raising awareness of the new laws through a series of outreach events at beaches that are currently smoke-free.

During September, B.E.A.C.H. outreach volunteers educated beach goers at Kapiolani Beach, Kaimana Beach (which is officially part of Kapiolani Beach), Kuhio Beach and Sandy Beach.  As well as educating, B.E.A.C.H. volunteers have also removed cigarette butts and other litter from these beaches during beach clean-ups taking place concurrently with the information booths.

The next event is on Saturday 5th October, 2013 at Duke Kahanmoku Beach (in front of the Hilton Hawaiian Village).  B.E.A.C.H. will have an information booth at the beach from 1:30pm to 5:30pm and volunteers will do a beach clean-up from 2:45pm to 4:15pm.  For information about this event and other smoke-free beach events, visit the calendar and events pages on the B.E.A.C.H. website: www.b-e-a-c-h.org or phone 393 2168.

Recently “smoking prohibited by law” signs went up at the Paoa Place end of Duke Kahanamoku Beach.  The City and County of Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation put up the signs and have also placed signs within the last week at Kaimana Beach and Sandy Beach.  In the last couple of weeks, signs have also gone up at Ala Moana Beach, Kuhio Beach and Kapiolani Beach with more due to go up (at Kapiolani Park, Kuhio and Kapiolani Beaches).  With these signs, enforcement by Honolulu Police Department can now take place.  Fines for smoking are $100 for the first offense, $200 for the second and $500 for the third.

B.E.A.C.H. is an all volunteer, non-profit and tax exempt organization that brings awareness and solutions to marine debris through environmental education, plastic reduction/litter prevention campaigns; and marine debris removal and research in order to save and protect Hawai`i’s marine life, sea birds and the ocean/coastal environment.

B.E.A.C.H. helped get the smoke-free bills passed (Bill 72 and Bill 25) and is helping to inform the public of the new laws to ensure that the laws are implemented successfully and that the result is reduction and prevention of cigarette butt litter on beaches.  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 healthy, 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).

About the smoke-free beach laws:

Bill 72 which was signed by the Mayor in April 2013 made Ala Moana Beach smoke-free immediately and the other beaches (Kapiolani Beach, Kuhio Beach, Duke Kahanamoku Beach and Sandy Beach) and park (Kapiolani Park) on the bill became smoke-free when Bill 25 was signed into law (parts 1 & 3 of Bill 25 affected Bill 72 enabling it to be enacted and were effective immediately upon the Mayor signing the bill in July)

Bill 25 part 2 goes into effect on 1st January, 2014 and this extends the smoking ban to all the other City and County of Honolulu beaches and parks on O`ahu.

Submitted by B.E.A.C.H.

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