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News Summary

Hookah owners gasp at proposed law revision

Publication Date: 4/21/2009
  • Author:Mara Stine
  • Publication:Gresham Outlook
Legislation could mean shops would be subject to indoor air quality rules

A local senator is proposing a statewide ban on hookah bars to protect the health of young adults who frequent the trendy establishments.

Sen. Laurie Monnes Anderson, D-Gresham, sponsored Senate Bill 974, which defines cigar bars and smoke shops. Under the smoke shop definition, the bill reads "is not a hookah bar," which is defined as a business at which customers pay to smoke tobacco from a communal pipe.

By specifying that a hookah bar is not a smoke shop, it's no longer exempt from the state's Indoor Clean Air Act, which took effect Jan. 1. The act banned indoor smoking in restaurants, bars and other public establishments, in part to protect employees from breathing second-hand smoke.