Tobacco-Free Hawai`i State Parks

From 1st July, 2015, Hawai`i State Parks became smoke-free! A new law bans smoking and the use of electronic cigarettes and all tobacco products in all state parks throughout the State of Hawai`i. The ban applies to the whole park. This includes beaches, picnic and camping areas, trails and roadways.

Tobacco-free stickers were first added to rubbish bins Hawaii State Parks. The metal no smoking signs have recently been erected.

Fines are $100 for the first offense, $200 for the second within a year and $500 for additional violations.

About the tobacco-free beaches law
House Bill 525 was signed into law by Governor David Ige on 15th July, 2015. Beach Environmental Awareness Campaign Hawai`i brought the need for a law to ban smoking at Hawai`i State Parks to the attention of Representative Cindy Evans who then introduced HB 525. B.E.A.C.H. helped get the law passed through providing written and spoken testimony in strong support of the bill and collected thousands of cigarette butts from state parks on Kaua`i and Maui to show to lawmakers during the hearings.

B.E.A.C.H. has also helped get smoking bans on all beaches and parks in three counties - the first was on Hawai`i Island - the ban passed on Earth Day 2008 and then the City and County of Honolulu passed smoking bans in 2013 and the whole of O`ahu became smoke-free in January 2014 and Maui became tobacco-free on Earth Day 2014.

Why cigarette butts are harmful
Cigarette butts are the most littered plastic item on Hawai`i’s beaches and in the world and they are made from toxic chemicals including arsenic, hydrogen cyanide and formaldehyde. Ingestion of just one or two cigarette butts by young children will result in poisoning or death.  Within an hour of contact with water, cigarette butts leach toxic chemicals into the water that kill fish and other marine life.  The new laws banning smoking at beaches will result in a healthier, cleaner environment that is safe for young children, all beach goers (who won’t be inhaling second-hand smoke) and marine life (that won’t be harmed from cigarette butts washing into the ocean at high tide).

More information about the harm of cigarettes
Information about secondhand smoke:

Surgeon General Report: The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke


Coral Photograph Credit to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Department of Commerce and Dr. James P. McVey. Dolphins, Japanese Angelfish, Green turtle, and Laysan Albatross photos by James Watt. Humpback whale photo by James Mobeley

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