Council advances bill to ban smoking in autos with kids
A Hawai'i County Council committee voted 6-3 yesterday to advance a bill that would outlaw smoking in any motorized vehicle occupied by a child or young adult.
The Human Services and Economic Development Committee's action sends Bill 216 to the full council for the first of two votes required for its passage.
If enacted into law, the ban would take effect 90 days later.
Puna Councilwoman Emily Naeole-Beason, the bill's author and a former smoker, said, "I believe I am the voice of the children of these islands."
Opponents said the ban would infringe on personal freedoms.
"I can't imagine what we're going to bring up next," Hāmākua Councilman Dominic Yagong said.
Calling the bill an attempt to "legislate common sense," Yagong voted against it even though his father died of cancer. "Cigarettes took his life," Yagong said.
Councilmen Donald Ikeda and Dennis Onishi also voted against the bill.