Smoking Ban Health Benefits

Alana Kerch
Alana Kerch
Justin Nipp
Justin Nipp
Nicolette Johnston
Nicolette Johnston

By Joann Shin

(KHNL) - Soon, smokers won't be able to light up at any public place in Hawaii.

It's an outright ban that's meant to minimize the effects of second hand smoke and it includes all restaurants and bars.

And a new study shows, the health of people who work at these places will improve significantly once the smoking ban goes into effect.

Alana Kerch isn't a smoker, but works at a place that allows people to light up. She's a cashier here at Magoo's.

She explained, "I hate coming home and smelling like smoke."

Kerch also worries about exposure to second hand smoke.

She said, "It's there all night. It's there before I get there and until 12:30-1 when I leave. I'm ingesting the smoke. My lungs feel awful when I come home."

Justin Nipp is a cook at Magoo's.

He smokes on his breaks to relieve stress.

He said, "There's a lot of times this job can get stressful and you want to light up."

According to the study, close to 80 percent of the workers experienced symptoms like wheezing, shortness of breath and irritated eyes.

But after the smoke free policy was implemented, the amount of people reporting similar symptoms dropped by more than 50 percent.

Nicolette Johnston believes it.

She works at East Side Grill a couple doors down.

The bar and grill has been smoke free for two years.

Johnston said, "It's nice. I noticed an improvement in breathing like when I work out."

As for Justin, he won't put down that cigarette until the ban goes into effect.

But he's not entirely against the idea of a smoke free environment.

He explained, "In a way, it will help me stop smoking. I wanted to quit smoking, but being around smokers, it's kind of hard to do that."

The statewide smoking ban goes in effect on November 16th.