Tobacco-free beach

LYDGATE — Cigarettes are a common sight at many beach parks on Kauai, but not anymore at Lydgate Beach Park.

That’s because the popular family hang-out has been declared tobacco-free and the transformation will be celebrated Saturday morning under the big pavilion, beginning at 8 a.m.

Tamber Meyer, who was spending time at the beach on Tuesday with her family, said she was happy to hear that the beach would be clear of tobacco smoke.

“Tobacco-free would be great because this is a place where kids play and there are really a lot of people here,” Meyer said. “It’s also great for the animals around here, they can eat them.”

Banning cigarettes from Lydgate Beach Park sets a good example for kids as well, Meyer said.

“Lydgate is really a park for families and we know, according to the Surgeon General reports, that there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke,” said Stephanie Moir, Kauai County community coordinator for the Coalition for a Tobacco Free Hawaii.

The first steps toward giving tobacco the boot at Lydgate began in 2012 with Tobacco Free Kauai and a statewide bill for tobacco-free beaches and parks, which didn’t pass.

That didn’t stop the movement on Kauai, though.

“Discussion continued and with the help of the mayor, Parks and Rec, and Tobacco Free Kauai, we were able to get a tobacco-free area in Lydgate Park,” Moir said.

The signs were installed under the watchful eye of Parks Director Lenny Rapozo.

Saturday morning’s event will offer free food and a chance to win prizes.

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