New Smoking Bill Planned

HONOLULU (KHNL)- It's been more than a year since Hawaii outlawed smoking in bars and restaurants.

But this year, some lawmakers plan to introduce a new bill that would make exceptions.

It will allow bar owners to pay a fee of one to three thousand dollars for a license allowing smoking.

The beauty of this bill is that those fees every year will go toward a public awareness campaign to increase organ donations in Hawaii.

Those in favor of the bill believe that, unless lawmakers push it through, Hawaii's bar and restaurant industry will suffer.

"There have been millions of dollars lost since the smoking ban we're shooting ourselves in the foot, it's despicable," said Kawika Crowley of the Hawaii Smokers Alliance.

Others feel lawmakers would be sending mixed signals to patrons and bar owners.

"I think it complicates things the law was passed in the beginning for a reason if you make an exemption for it you should just take the law out," said Bar Manager Corey Coralles

Kawika Crowley believes there can be a compromise.

"All we're asking for is just an adjustment, we're not coming in here trying to change the whole smoking ban leave it the way it is," said Crowley.

Those in favor of the bill are hopeful the bill makes it through two committees before going to the full Senate.