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Kona council member pushes e-cig ban for beaches

    Hawaii County now prohibits sale of tobacco products to people under 21

KAILUA-KONA >> Electronic cigarettes and vaporizers would be banned from county beaches, parks and facilities on Hawaii’s Big Island under a proposal pushed by Hawaii County member Dru Kanuha.

Kanuha is sponsoring a bill that is scheduled to be reviewed Tuesday by the council’s Public Safety and Mass Transit Committee, West Hawaii Today reported. The public can comment on the measure at the afternoon meeting at the West Hawaii Civic Center.

“There’s still much unknown about e-cigarettes. Its effects remain largely unknown,” Kanuha said. “As a precautionary measure, they should be restricted until they’re proven safe.”

Kanuha said the bill follows the state’s lead on the issue. The state Department of Accounting and General Services last month added e-cigarettes to smoking bans in state workplaces and buildings.

Kanuha said his measure also takes into account complaints he’s heard from people.

“They feel their air is violated by the use of these devices,” he said.

Kanuha also sponsored a bill that recently went into effect that bans sales of e-cigarettes and tobacco products to people younger than 21. Honolulu is considering a similar ban.

Kawika Crowley, a Republican candidate for the Congressional 2nd District seat, called supporters of the measure a “bunch of feel-gooders.”

Crowley is a former lobbyist for smoking rights.

“These people should have their heads examined,” Crowley said. “It’s all based on political correctness and emotions, not facts.”

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