Ing: Ban smoking at beach

South Maui state Rep. Kaniela Ing has introduced a bill to outlaw smoking on all beaches in Hawaii.

In a news release Wednesday, Ing said he is proposing the bill because of the health risks associated with smoking and secondhand smoke along with the amount of litter that cigarettes causes on beaches.

“I introduced this measure to keep our beaches clean and ensure that both residents and visitors are able to enjoy their beach-going experiences and keep their children safe,” Ing said.

Ing said he sees the bill as a chance to initiate discussion on where the community stands on the issue and encourages the public to contact him on the matter.

The news release announcing the bill said that Community Work Day program’s three-hour “Get the Drift and Bag It” event last year brought together more than 1,200 volunteers who collected more than 7,600 cigarette butts on Maui.

According to a poll conducted by the Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Hawaii, 73 percent of respondents supported smoke-free beaches, the news release said.