Major Hawaii Hotels Strike Up New Smoking Ban Policy

Barry Wallace
Barry Wallace

WAIKIKI (KHNL) -- Hawaii hotels are hitting smokers hard in their wallets when it comes to lighting up where they shouldn't and many couldn't be happier about this tougher stance on smokers.

While Hawaii's smoking ban is not new to us, for some visitors coming to the islands, there is still uncertainty over where they can and cannot smoke.

And breaking the rules could cost big bucks.

Thousands basking in the sunshine in Waikiki, are also enjoying the fresh air found here, especially since Hawaii's smoking ban has been in place.

Many major hotels are happy about setting smoke restrictions.

"Hawaii is about fragrance and aromas as it is about anything and to have the smoke drift through, that it's never been an attractive addition," said Barry Wallace with Outrigger Hotels.

You can still smell smoke in the air in Waikiki, there are about two dozen hotels here that allow some smoking, either in the rooms or on property, and smoking is still allowed at the beach.

But a number of hotel chains, like the Outrigger, have gone completely smoke-free for their guests.

"It is critical, they are passionate about smoke free environments, like when you rent a rental car and you can smell that smoke, there is nothing worse, and many people tell us they love our new policy," said Wallace.

Part of that policy includes hefty fines for those that light up in non-smoking rooms.

"We generally charge a $250 clean fee cause we have to shampoo the carpets, clean the drapes bedspread, depending on as much needs to be done," Wallace said.

Other hotels in Waikiki charge up to twice that amount.

For smokers, just finding a place to light up makes takes away from their relaxing habit, and snuffs out some of the fun of their Hawaiian vacation.

"A little restrictive in the smoking areas, as far as where you can smoke and where you can't , inconvenient to come out of your hotel room just so you can smoke," said Doug Quick, a visitor from Tennessee.

But smokers we talked with, say even the restrictions aren't enough to keep them from coming back to Hawaii.