My lungs thank the City and County of Honolulu for banning smoking at all city parks, beaches, athletic fields and bus stops. Before this, only a few places had been dubbed a smoke-free zone.

The expanded law goes into effect Jan. 1, 2014 for the island of Oahu only. It is the start of a statewide effort to reduce cigarette-butt litter and second-hand smoke in public areas. The Honolulu mayor signed Bills 25 and 28 into law, with specifications as follows:

Bill 25:

No smoking at recreation areas, such as tennis courts, softball fields and public pools. However, lighting up will be allowed at municipal golf courses.

Bill 28:

No smoking within 20-foot perimeter around all Oahu bus stops. Law breakers will have to pay $100 fine upon the first offense and an increase from there with each additional citation.

As an asthmatic, I am especially happy that I don’t have to hold my breath anymore while walking past someone lighting up. I also don’t have to move spots on the beach to escape a trail of smoke. It just makes sense to have clean air wherever possible, and I am looking forward to other islands following suit in the near future.

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