Visitors Welcome Smoking Ban at Ala Moana - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Visitors Welcome Smoking Ban at Ala Moana

David Zhang David Zhang
Julian Lipschur Julian Lipschur
Graeme Balderston Graeme Balderston
Ala Moana Center is mostly open-air and has never restricted smoking in open areas Ala Moana Center is mostly open-air and has never restricted smoking in open areas

HONOLULU (KHNL) - Ala Moana Center is Hawaii's largest shopping complex and it will be impacted by new smoking rules. Opponents of the law argued it could scare away tourists who are accustomed to smoking in public areas. But some visitors KHNL spoke to Monday say a smoking ban won't stop them from dropping by the mostly open-air shopping center.

Fresh, clean island air is one of the reasons why visitors come to Hawaii. It's also a reason why some say they like the idea of banning smoking in public spaces.

"I think it's a great idea. Not only for the tourists but also especially for the people with families that's coming here." said tourist David Zhang.

Ala Moana Center will become one of the landmark businesses affected by the new ban.

"Three months ago General Growth was probably the first business to call. They had read the law, they had understood it. We did a walkthrough of their property and they're making the mall smoke free" said State Health Department official Julian Lipschurl.

The idea of smoke-free shopping sits well with some tourists.

"Shouldn't be any smoking in the shopping areas. If you want to smoke, they ought to smoke at home or find another place to smoke." said tourist Graeme Balderston.

The law was intended to reduce public exposure to second-hand smoke.

"What it will do is provide a clean, safe healthy smoke-free workplace for all of Hawaii's workforce" said Lipschur.

Sales at shops in the mall shouldn't suffer according to some visitors who say they've seen more smoking restrictions in their home countries.

"Shouldn't be discouraged, the way a lot of countries got their own laws. In some places you can't even smoke anywhere" said Balderston.

If the  ban preserves  clean air, some visitors say its worth it.

"I will not say that everybody will be happy, but I think a majority of the tourists will be happy" said Zhang.

As for enforcement  the State Health Department says it hopes all it will take is public education and awareness. If people know smoking is banned in public places,  the state hopes they will voluntarily comply on their own.

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