- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 20, 2007

HONOLULU (AP) — There’s a revolt going on in Hawaii as some bar owners openly defy the state’s new anti-smoking law, one of the nation’s toughest, by letting their customers light up.

“We’re being rebellious. Look at the Boston Tea Party. Look at Prohibition. They rebelled, and they won,” said Fred Remington, vice president of the company that runs O’Toole’s Irish Pub.

Hawaii is one of 16 states that have banned smoking in all public places. Its law, which took effect in November, even covers open malls and popular outdoor dining areas, and it doesn’t allow bars or offices to set aside rooms for smokers. Penalties start at $100 and increase up to $500 after the third offense. Bars could lose liquor licenses, and customers could be fined $50.

During a recent protest by angry bar owners at O’Toole’s, several dozen people crowded the pub to light up cigars and cigarettes, but after police arrived everyone put out their smokes.

Remington helped rally the 93-member Hawaii Bar Owners Association, which filed a lawsuit in January against the state in a bid to overturn the law. The legal action claims the government has violated their private property rights.

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