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by Ku‘ulei Funn, staff writer

 

“We don’t want our students to be caught unaware of the law,” said Rick Stepien, HPU administrative vice president. “HPU is obligated to do what it can to alert students about smoking near buildings,” he added.

HPU’s downtown campus is within the Fort Street Mall Business Improvement District (BID) and leases space from various buildings, so the law affects HPU as well as the other Fort Street business owners and building managers, all of whom will be subject to fines for violations.

According to Gene Yoroi, executive director of Fort Street Mall BID, business owners and restaurants on Fort Street will be required to enforce these laws.

“ They have to be proactive,” said Yoroi. “There are fines that will fall back on owners.”

With very limited space between buildings, it will be difficult for smokers to find smoker-friendly areas.

Individual violators may be fined $50 for each offense. Businesses may be fined up to $100 for the first violation, up to $200 for a second violation within a year of the first violation, and up to $500 for additional violations within the same year.

“It’s kind of a pain,” said Lane Mayer, an HPU freshman, from Ft. Collins, Colorado. “Laws are strict back home, so I’m used to it,” he added.

Others applaud the new law.

“ I think it’s a great law,” said HPU junior Jermel Quillopo. “It will encourage a healthy lifestyle, but at the same time I feel that there should be areas designated for smoking,”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site, an estimated 44.5 million adults smoke in the United States. Each year more than 3,000 nonsmokers in the United States die of lung cancer, and 35,000 die of heart disease due to exposure to secondhand smoke.

At present, 43 states enforce indoor and outdoor smoking laws.

 
 
 

 

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