Hawai’i, Smoking and Drinking- vacation in a Communist State

Yet Another Beautiful Sunset

Now most of you will say good.  You don’t want to smell my cigarette smoke.  Anti smoking laws are good.   And surprisingly I agree.  To a point.  To a point when laws make sense and are logical.  Smoking in hotel rooms, no.  Same goes for restaurants and enclosed bars.  But if a place is open, or its a terrace of my room, then why the hell not?  Well Hawai’i says no.  Not anywhere.  I always joke that smokers are the lepers of the 21st century.  We certainly are treated as such.  Well here is my little rant, see if any of this make sense.

After a long flight I finally got off the plane and went outside to have a smoke as I would in any airport.  As I was lighting up (outside) I was told I can not smoke where I was.  I had to cross the street to the parking lot where there is a designated space for “people” like me.  Really?  My smoking bothers everyone, but minibuses and cars do that pull up by the curb do not?  I need to cross the street?  We went to Maui but coming back home had to go through the Honolulu airport.  When I was there in 2004 there was a little park (a couple actually) that smoking was allowed in.  Nice green area, benches, ashtrays, great set up.  Unfortunately in 2006 the laws got even stricter, no more smoking in that little airport park, even though it was empty.  Even though just 50 yards from it there were planes and support vehicles polluting the air more than I ever could.  The worst part of this was that this outside park was inside the airport grounds.  Meaning 6 years ago I could just step outside have a smoke and then go back to my gate, bar, store, whatever.  This time however I had to walk outside the security area.  Wasting my time, the TSA’s time and the time of my fellow travelers.  Being checked several times within a couple of hours it just pointless.  There were two of those parks in that airport.  Could we not have one for people like me?  I had a 7 hour flight ahead of me.  Plus I had to be at the gate 45 minutes before, add the time it takes to disembark from an aircraft and its well over 8 hours of no smoking.  Now I don’t mind really.

Green Demarcation Line. Smoking Nyet!!!

I am old enough to remember smoking being allowed on flights, and it was a stupid idea.  Especially with the way the plane seating was set up.  Row 20 was non-smoking, while the person behind you puffed away.  It was idiotic.  But really now.  A small area can not be designated for travelers to have a smoke inside the security zone?  At LAX our plane to Maui was delayed by 2 hours.  I went out three times.  And the worst part was that I was smoking by a glass door within view of the security personnel (designated smoking area that was filthy the cigarette butts were overflowing) and the security gates.  Yet three times I had to go through the same thing of taking off my shoes and emptying my pockets, etc, etc.  The funny thing is that the third time my friend was going though the security (we went in shifts as one person was watching the carry on luggage inside, no point in taking that laptop out 3 times), she was searched.

But at LAX and in Dallas it was not necessary to cross the street, nor is it in New York.  Yet in Hawai’i I will give everyone cancer if I do not, apparently.  Just does not make any sense.  I do realize that the laws are not just there to protect everyone from second hand smoke, but also to make my life as difficult as possible so I would stop smoking, in NYC taxes do that.  But come on.  However our resort took the cake.

It was a condo resort, so perhaps they have special rules, but none of this made any sense.  No smoking in rooms.  Fine, no problems.  I did not want to smoke inside the room anyway.  But the terraces?  When there are no other people around even?  One morning I woke up at 5 AM local time to watch a football match.  Of course no tv in Hawai’i was showing it, so it was streaming time on my laptop.  To avoid waking my wife I went out to our ground floor terrace.  No a soul around.  Yet I was weary, if I smoked and someone caught me it could have meant a $450 fine, something to which I had to agree before checking in.  But seriously now.  Now I do not litter.  Any cigarette butts would have been safely and properly disposed.  I do not even throw my ciggie butts on the ground when hiking, I always carry a small plastic container for them (used to be camera film containers, now its usually gum packaging).

We could not smoke by the outdoor, uncovered bar.  Nor by the pool.  Nor by the tanning chairs inside the grounds.  The public beach separated by some bushes (all beaches in Hawai’i are public) however was fine, smoke your lungs out, even while renting the hotel cabanas.  Go figure.  There was a designated smoking spot, about 20 yards from the pool, and 10 yards from the bar.  Other areas where one could smoke were parking lots.  And when I was checking in the man wanted to give me a room on the 4th floor.  I had to argue for a ground floor one, near the parking lot.  The outside malls were the same.  Nice areas to rest, lovely chairs or benches to relax on, all outside, smoking however, in the parking lot, no bench for me.

And drinking at our hotel was even stranger.  We had a blender in the room, so of course drinks were mixed and taken to the beach, which was fine.  But if you wanted to buy a drink from the hotel bar you could drink it right then and there, or take it by the pool.  However it was forbidden to take your drink to the beach just 5 yards further, or to your room.  What?  Someone from the staff made my wife put away the drink she just bought from the bar because she took it to the forbidden zone, the smoking place 10 yards from the bar as she wanted a smoke before she went back by the pool.  So the drink had to wait 3 yards away on a table while she smoked.  Absolute fucking nonsense.

Nanny State gone wild.  Again, I do not mind most smoking restrictions.  No smoking in restaurants means spending less time in them these days.  I used to love to go out, eat well, have a few drinks and talk for hours, a meal could last 3 or even 4 hours.  But now I just eat and leave.  For drinks I go to a bar and drink there, while every so ofter stepping out.  No biggie.  Planes too, great idea.  Many places actually.  But fucking outside?  On an open terrace with no one around?  The trade winds make it constantly breezy in Hawai’i, the smoke would not linger, nor would it bother anyone.  I am considerate, once on a plane I was sat next to an older couple (in the smoking section), after I lit up I noticed that smoking bothered them, obviously they did not pick those seats on purpose.  So I got up, asked the stewardess if i can smoke in the back where it wont bother them as much.  Its not that big a deal.  I do not want to blow smoke in your face.  I do not want to pollute your lungs.  But an empty open terrace, an empty pool area?  Or a nice beach chair with no one around inside the hotel grounds?  Those are verbotten? I would be hurting who exactly?

To the smokers out there, do check on the internet for resorts that do allow smoking in certain areas, not just parking lots.  And do avoid the Maui Ka’anapali Villas.  A nice hotel, but I felt like I was back under communism not in the United States of America.

Published in: on September 10, 2010 at 2:43 pm  Comments (4)  
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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Lepers? Hardly…

    More like terrorists. I don’t care for smoking at all but I kind of feel bad they have been marginalized and brushed aside. The only time I get really annoyed is when I’m on campus an 5-6 smokers are crowding an entry way. Just stand 15 yards from the god damn door like you’re supposed to, please. It’s not asking much.

  2. In my day, once they stopped us from smoking inside college buildings they put the ashtrays right by the door. And other than needless crowding, trust me, no harm comes to you if you have to go through a few people who smoke, its ok, touch them, you wont get infected. 😛

  3. Well That settles it I was going to fly thru HNL to get to Vegas (my home) from my job in Aus but now I realize that is foolish – will continue via HongKong. 5 flights a year but saving 3 hours to home and being forced to go out security isn’t worth it. If they get their heads out I will change but otherwise Cathay Pacific will get my $$ not Hawaiian Air.

  4. Which pig was it that said “some are more equal than others?” hhmmmmm I’ve been having trouble quitting(evil bf I can’t seem to shake); I was thinking of Maui, as it is difficult to find a spot to smoke in. However, if anyone near me flaggelates, or has any disternible body odor of ANY kind(esp breath, lol) I will attack them with all of the GUSTO that they have attacked me with for smoking. My freakishly self-involved sister was even complaining that a guy smoking an e-cig REALLY IRRITATED her because of “the cloud of smoke that was hanging around him.” REally? I asked her what the problem WAS since you can’t smell them? She said it made her “uncomfortable.” Well, FAT PUSHY SELFISH people irritate me and make me ‘uncomfortable’ so there REALLY should be a LAW AGAINST FAT PEOPLE because after all, it’s REALLY in their own best interest and it’s “healthier” and I should know because I am the authority. And don’t tell me that fat people don’t impinge upon my freedom, because they absolutely LOVE to see if they can PUSH you out of line, or simply ‘around’ by shoving their sweaty, heaving BULK upon my body, and PUSHING ME WITH THEIR FAT.
    But I think Maui just bit the big one because from the reviews I’ve read, it’s NOT WORTH THE MONEY that I could better spend, more happily, stateside.
    Thx for the input, and saving me a buttload of wasted money, lol

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