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House passes smoking ban in public housing

Residents in public housing might soon have a harder time finding a place to smoke.

The Hawaii House approved a proposal to ban smoking in public housing on Friday.

Rep. Scott Saiki says the proposed ban reflects a growing trend in high-rise condominiums that have banned smoking.

Under the bill, all new leases and permits for public housing must state that smoking is prohibited. If a tenant violates the rule, he or she could be evicted.

Opponents say smokers shouldn’t be thrown out on the street. Rep. Gene Ward says the bill lacks aloha.

The bill (SB 651) was already approved by the Senate. But because the House changed the bill, the chambers must agree on any changes before sending it to the governor for his approval.

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