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Hawaii Goes Smoke-free

Goes Smoke-free…

By American Cancer Society

As many as 73,000 adult non-smokers die from secondhand smoke in America each year. Secondhand smoke contains 4,000 chemicals and more than 60 carcinogens. It has been proven to cause lung cancer, heart disease and emphysema. As many as 300,000 children each year suffer from respiratory ailments because of secondhand smoke.

The American Cancer Society’s Annual Smoke-out, when smokers are encouraged to stop smoking for a day, will occur November 16, the same day a new smoke-free law goes into effect throughout Hawaii. For employers, this is important because smoke-free workplaces are safer, healthier and more productive, with fewer employee work days missed and lower health related costs.

The law, which was signed by Governor Linda Lingle, will prohibit smoking in all enclosed and partially enclosed public and private workplaces. Hawaii is the 14th state to pass a smoke-free law and 85% of Hawaii voters supported this law. Nearly every workplace is included in the ban, including bars, restaurants, stadiums, private membership clubs, arenas, buses, boats, and taxis. Smoking is also prohibited on the lanai of a workplace, and within 20 feet of entrances, exists and ventilation intakes of these places.

Compliance with the law is easy. Businesses must post the required signage at every entrance clearly visible. The signs must read, “Smoking Prohibited by Law” or they must have the International No Smoking symbol. Additionally, businesses must implement the “no smoking” policy and employees must inform violators they may not smoke in your establishment. Businesses that fail to comply with the law will be subject to fines and the loss of licenses and permits. If smokers fail to comply, they could be subject to fines.

Now is a great time to stop smoking. Quitting is hard, but getting help is easy. Call It Quits by contacting the Hawaii Quitline at  1 800 QUIT NOW (1-800-784-8669) and let them help you succeed.

The American Cancer Society is a nationwide community-based voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by preventing cancer. For more information any time, call toll free 1 800-ACS-2345.