Bill aims to ban smoking at Waikiki Beach

Rich Sanidad
Rich Sanidad
Rep. Tom Brower
Rep. Tom Brower
Kawika Crowley
Kawika Crowley

WAIKIKI (KHNL) -- Hawaii already prohibits smoking in all enclosed or partially enclosed public places.

But now a bill is looking to ban lighting up at the beaches at Waikiki.

Dozens of families had some fun in the sun or played games in the water on President's Day.

But the rules at the beach may be changing. A bill making its way through the state house wants smokers off the sand.

For this father of three from Hawaii Kai the ban makes sense.

"I think it would be a good idea because smoke travels and with the little ones it's not good for them," Rich Sanidad said.

The bill is aimed at keeping the beach clean and making it more family friendly.

"They wouldn't be smoking where the children are playing in the water or where people are actually going to go swimming in the water," Rep. Tom Brower said.

If the ban on smoking at beaches in Waikiki becomes law only smoking on the sidewalk and grassy areas will be allowed.

But those who oppose the bill say smoking is not the issue.

"It's a litter issue not a smoking issue if anybody tells you it's a smoking issue they got their head in the Waikiki beach sand," Hawaii Smokers Alliance co-chair Kawika Crowley said.

With a smoking ban at Oahu bars and restaurants already in place, Crowley says a ban on Waikiki beaches will fire up island smokers.

"They're going to run us out of Hawaii pretty soon you're not going to be able to smoke anywhere. It's ridiculous," he said.

The only smoke-free beach on Oahu is Hanauma Bay. If this new bill passes, it will not be implemented until 2020.