- Associated Press - Sunday, January 4, 2015

HONOLULU (AP) - Cleaner air and less litter at beaches and parks. That’s what some Oahu residents say is the result of a smoking ban that went into effect almost one year ago.

“Prior to that, I used to see a lot of people smoke cigarettes. And I guess, they flick their butts all over in the park,” said Dominic Apilando, a Kapiolani Park user.

“There just seemed to be a lot of cigarette butts and things around. The beaches were a lot dirtier than they are now,” said Tim Strait, a Kapiolani Park user.

Some say the change helps make their experience more enjoyable and healthy.

“It’s a good thing for kids and families that want to have a day at the park. Just have a fun day at the park minus all the smoking,” said Apilando.

Folks at Ala Moana Beach Park say they’ve noticed fewer smokers as well.

But the rules haven’t stopped everyone.

“I see people here and there. But they kind of respect that and throw it away in the trash or they stay away, far away from families. So at least secondhand smoke won’t affect any of them,” said Apilando.

But what about those who aren’t aware or familiar with the smoking ban? The city has made efforts to address that. Signs posted at the beaches and parks help remind residents and visitors of the current law. Park users say they believe it’s working.

“It helps. It lets people know the rules around the park and anyone who’s not familiar with the park, they’re able to see the sign and understand the sign,” said Kalati Tiumalu, an Ala Moana Beach Park user.

Anyone caught smoking at a city park, beach, or bus stop faces a $100 fine for the first offense. After that, you could end up paying as much as $500 for each additional offense.

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Information from: KHON-TV, http://khon.com

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