Smoking law doesn't cover condo lanais
I read your article on the Internet where you discussed the problems with secondhand smoke coming from lanais of smokers in high-density residential dwellings (Kokua Line, Dec. 3, 1999
). Do you know if, in the current state of concern for dangers and discomfort of breathing secondhand smoke, there is any recourse for us if our neighbors continue, after being politely asked by us, building security and the board of directors, to stop smoking on the lanai? From what I understand, the recent law banning smoking pertains only to commercial and public areas. What can we do when we have irritated nasal passages and cannot enjoy an evening on our own lanai?
Answer: You're right -- the state law further legislating no-smoking areas does not deal with condominium units and other private residences.
In fact, it specifically excludes private residences, except those that are used for home-based businesses, such as a licensed adult care or child care facility, said Julian Lipsher, head of the state Department of Health's Tobacco Prevention and Awareness Project.
"So, if someone is smoking either in their residence or on their lanai and the smoke is traveling to another unit, the law doesn't prohibit that behavior," he said. "That being said, the individual doesn't have to suffer in silence."
Lipsher said his office, as well as the Coalition for a Tobacco Free Hawaii, has materials on various "strategies" to deal with situations like yours.
You mentioned that the board of directors for your building has not been successful in curbing your neighbor's smoking. But Lipsher said, "Condo boards are able to take actions that go beyond what the statute allows for."
Such boards and associations "can make up a lot of different kind of rules," such as expanding the areas where smoking is prohibited within their buildings, he said. That could be in addition to what the law says about restricting smoking in public areas, such as laundry rooms or hallways.
Call Lipsher's office at 586-4613 to ask for information on what options might be open to you. Or contact the Coalition for a Tobacco Free Hawaii at 946-6851 (or check www.tobaccofreehawaii.org).
"There certainly is a growing concern because of increased awareness on the dangers of secondhand smoke," Lipsher said.
To all the people speeding in the Hawaii Kai area. It's not only the young people speeding excessively on Poipu Drive in Portlock. Surfers, company trucks and residents who drive mostly high-priced vans, SUVs and motorcycles disregard the speed limit of 25 mph. Many are flying over 40 mph. It's not easy driving 25 mph on a wide street as Poipu Drive, but it's the law. These are probably the same drivers who are going over 50 mph on Kalanianaole Highway. Let's be good neighbors and be more considerate and SLOW DOWN!!!! -- A 36-year Hawaii Kai resident
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