Big Island Smoking Ban

no smoking big island
Hawaii Aloha Travel > Blog > Big Island Smoking Ban

As a non-smoker, there is nothing worse than enjoying a nice day at the beach until a group of smokers set up camp right next to you. So when I read in the Honolulu Advertiser about the Big Island Smoking Ban on all public beaches and recreation areas, I was ecstatic.

Passed last year, the groundbreaking Big Island Smoking Ban emerged as a direct result of the passionate and committed action of a group of middle school students. These young environmentalists were driven by their desire to shield marine life from the harmful effects of cigarette butts. Embarking on an eye-opening initiative, the students had astoundingly collected more than 2,000 butts from the Kahalu’u beach in a mere 30 minutes during a science project. This alarming revelation was a stark testament to the environmental threat posed by discarded cigarettes. As cited prominently in the Advertiser, “Cigarette butts are the top polluters of Hawaii’s beaches,” emphasized Deborah Zysman, the Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Hawaii executive director. Beyond just cigarettes, other forms of trash also contribute to the degradation of these pristine beaches. For Hawaii, which thrives significantly on its tourist economy, the sanctity of its beaches isn’t merely an environmental concern but also an economic imperative. Hence, prioritizing the cleanliness of Hawaii’s beaches and waters is not just a matter of aesthetics but a critical aspect of sustainable state planning and economic strategy.

Kauai Councilman Bob Jacobson told the paper, “The council received nearly 70 letters in favor of the Big Island Smoking Ban and messages supporting the ban, with only one opposing it”. If the bill is passed, it will be interesting to see if other islands follow. The bill would place fines at $100. The council is expected to take up the bill for a full council vote on Feb. 21st.

As of 2014 smoking is also no longer allowed on beaches on Maui as well as all beaches and parks on Oahu.