Put Out Those Cigarettes and the Hookahs Too

New bill could mean the end of hookah houses.

By Erika Okano
|  Wednesday, May 25, 2011  |  Updated 8:58 AM PDT
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Put Out Those Cigarettes and the Hookahs Too

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A new bill working its way through the state capitol could mean the end of hookah houses statewide.

SB332 has already passed in the state Senate, according to the SF Weekly. The bill allows landlords to ban smoking on their property. That, coupled with SB575, which the Senate is now looking at, could spell doom for tobacco shops and hookah lounges.

The bill was created by Sen. Paul DeSaulnier (D-Walnut Creek). It's aimed at closing loopholes in the 1994 workplace smoking ban. It would eliminate smoking in break rooms, hotel lobbies, banquet rooms. It would also target tobacco shops and hookah lounges.

What it won't target is cigar bars that do not serve food and drink.

Hookah lounges serve food and drink, but say they mostly sell hookah. They say it's not fair to allow one, but not the other.

DeSaulnier told the Weekly, it's not the same.

"If you're going to run a restaurant, that's one thing. But if it's a cafe or lounge with secondhand smoke, employees need to be protected."

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