No-smoking law applies to airport
I work at the Honolulu Airport and every day I see people smoking in the shuttle bus pickup area, which is on the center island. There has been no enforcement of the no-smoking law and hardly any security there. Nonsmokers waiting for their bus must put up with these smokers. There are few no-smoking signs posted and the ones that are there are small blue signs high up above people's heads. There is a need for more and bigger signs and much more enforcement. Does the state Department of Transportation not have to follow the no-smoking law?
Answer: Airport officials vowed to be more on the lookout for smokers violating the strict no-smoking law, which prohibits smoking from "cabin to curb" at all state airports.
"We will remind our airport security to advise airport users about the new no-smoking law if they see someone lighting up in a restricted area," said Scott Ishikawa, spokesman for the Department of Transportation.
He said you should alert an airport security guard if you witness a violation, or you can contact the state Department of Health at 586-4613 with any concerns, complaints or violations.
"Because we have 54,000 travelers that venture through our airport each day, it does become challenging in reminding newcomers or visitors about the new smoking law," Ishikawa said.
In addition to installing 900 no-smoking signs and placards throughout Honolulu Airport because of the new law, "numerous announcements" are made over the airport's public address system, he said.
Asked about the size and placement of signs, Ishikawa said that because space is limited along median areas, big and small signs and placards are placed wherever possible.
"But we also have to post important airport directional signs as well," he said. "It would probably be more effective to remind our security to alert any violators, most likely newcomers, about the no-smoking law."
Meanwhile, he said officials will check to see if any no-smoking signs have been removed, "which has happened occasionally. We speculate that a smoker sometimes takes down a sign so they can smoke in a restricted area."
Violators are subject to fines of up to $50, plus court costs.
Under the Healthy Air and Workplaces Law passed on Nov. 16, 2006, smoking is prohibited in enclosed or partially enclosed facilities owned by the state or counties; in places that are open to the public, including private businesses; in places of employment (including private homes used as child, adult or health care facilities); in state airports, cabin to curb; within 20 feet of doorways, windows and ventilation intakes to prevent secondhand smoke drifting into enclosed areas; in enclosed, partially enclosed and seating areas of sports arenas, outdoor arenas, stadiums and amphitheaters.
Because the no-smoking restriction, which applies within 20 feet of doorways, windows and ventilation intakes, is meant to prevent smoke drifting into enclosed areas, airport officials believe smoking is allowable on the top floor of the interisland parking garage at Honolulu Airport.
Ishikawa also further clarified that smoking is permitted on the second-floor median, which is under open sky, but not at city bus stops; while smoking is NOT permitted on medians under cover, such as the ground floor outside of the baggage claim area.
Got a question or complaint?
Call 529-4773, fax 529-4750, or write to Kokua Line, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu 96813. As many as possible will be answered. E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
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