Smoking ban goes nowhere on golf carts
I went to the municipal golf course at West Loch. A sign says that no smoking is allowed in the carts. I was taken aback by that. I was told that it is the city and county law and that in actuality, all golf courses are supposed to be that way -- no smoking on the golf course in the carts. To what extent is this smoking law going?
Answer: Not that far.
The no-smoking sign in golf carts had been posted, but has since been removed, said Garrick Iwamuro, the city's golf course system administrator.
Employees were being careful about following the state's tougher no-smoking law, hence the initial restriction, he said.
Iwamuro explained that no-smoking signs were posted in response to the new law banning smoking within 20 feet of any door, window or building.
Smoking is still allowed on the golf course itself, but was banned in golf carts, "since the city rules state that smoking is not allowed in any city-owned or -leased vehicle," he said.
However, the city's Corporation Counsel subsequently interpreted the law to allow smoking in the carts, because they are not enclosed vehicles, he said.
To accommodate nonsmokers, "On request, we will try to separate smoking and nonsmoking cart riders," he said.
Q: Since the no-smoking law has been passed, a lot of good has come of it because people who smoke seem to abide by the law and we have been able to go many places that once harbored secondhand smoke. However, are smokers allowed to smoke while at the People's Open Market, walking among the crowd of people? We have noticed several people smoking in the midst of patrons of the open market and nothing has been done to stop this practice. If smoking is allowed among the crowd, the law does not make any sense.
A: Hawaii's no-smoking law was expanded last November, but it still does not include open-air places such as the open markets.
Julian Lipsher, head of the state Department of Health's Tobacco Prevention and Education Program, says he can understand the confusion about how far the no-smoking law extends, because it "speaks to both public and work places."
However, the law applies only to those work and public places that are enclosed or partially enclosed under the definition of the law, he said.
But, even where it may not apply, the law has heightened awareness of the dangers of exposure to secondhand smoke at any place people may gather, whether it be the open market or bus stops, Lipsher noted.
"Additional consideration (by smokers) needs to be applied to make sure people are not involuntarily exposed," he said.
You might contact organizers of the markets and ask them to "ask for voluntary cooperation" by people to make shopping there a smoke-free experience, Lipsher suggested.
If you have other questions or complaints about the law, call the Department of Health at 586-4613.
Got a question or complaint?
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