Take 20 Paces If You Want To Light Up In Hawaii - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Take 20 Paces If You Want To Light Up In Hawaii

Beth Koch Beth Koch

By Beth Hillyer

(KHNL) - If you are going to light up, you must go outside.

And for bar owners and patrons who disobey Hawaii's new smoking restrictions, there are some harsh penalties.

Under the new law no one is saying you can't smoke. You simply have to walk 20 feet away from a public place.

At the O Lounge party goers eat, drink and be merry. But the blue cloud of cigarette smoke is gone.

Beth Kuch with Tobacco Free Oahu says, "It is smoke free and we are thrilled to have a party in a smoke free bar ."

Workers don't have to breathe second hand smoke.

Tony Saguibo with the Coalition for a Tobacco Free Hawaii says, "This law is a smoke free work environment law that is why it was supported."

Now Hawaii joins 13 other states in banning smoking from public places.

Tonight organizers celebrate the new law.

Kuch maintains, "Some owners are scared they are going to lose business but this has gone into place in 13 other states and bars and restaurants have not seen any drop in business over smoking laws over the long term."

Take your butts outside at the O Lounge.

Owner Liz Hata Watanabe explains, "We have removed every ashtray from this location."

Hata-Watanabe believes being smoke free will be good for business.

"The misconception is that partying and drinking, cigarettes go hand-in-hand and I think every bar owner any bar that deals with alcohol is going to be a little reluctant to embrace this new law. We have no choice but to embrace this so I think positive and try to enforce fortunately or unfortunately a lot of my employees are smokers" she says.

Smokers also face fines.

Kuch adds, "The Honolulu Police Department could issue a 50 dollar citation to a smoker if they refused to quit smoking. It's up to the business to ask the customer to quit smoking and then they would need to call the police department to issue the citation."

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