Smoking ban isn't to blame for decline in tourism from Japan
Opponents of the new smoking ban in bars suggest it is contributing to Hawaii's decline in tourism from Japan.
SOME bar owners are complaining about lost business
caused by a smoking ban that went into effect last year, but the suggestion that the ban has resulted in reduced tourism from Japan is mistaken. Smoking is on the decline in Japan
, where smoking bans are commonplace.
Hawaii is among 13 states that prohibit smoking in bars. Similar bans are imposed throughout much of Europe. The Irish government says its smoking bans in pubs have caused no economic harm.
Japan Tobacco Inc., the world's third-largest cigarette company, reports a decline in cigarette consumption from 348.3 billion to 269.9 billion in the past decade. To counter the trend at home, the company last month entered the European market by acquiring Britain's Gallaher Group, maker of Benson & Hedges.
All Nippon Airways, no novice in the business of tourism, recently increased its nonsmoking rooms to 90 percent at its resort in Okinawa. Marriott International bans smoking in all of its hotel rooms.
Hawaii's smoking ban in bars is overly broad, including open-air sections and nonbar property within 20 feet of entrances, exits, windows and ventilation intakes. Instead of seeking a narrow change in the law to correct the overreach, bar owners sought an entire exemption in this year's Legislature and were ignored.
Police have issued only one citation* to a smoker in a bar since the ban went into effect six months ago. Future enforcement should be directed at smoking in enclosed areas.
Friday, May 18, 2007
» Police have issued one citation since a ban on smoking in bars went into effect six months ago. An editorial on Page A10 Monday incorrectly said the smoker was arrested.
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