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Hookah lounge owner fumes awaiting state review

Publication Date: 2009-08-14
  • Author:Noelle Frampton
  • Publication:Connecticut Post

The Bridgeport Avenue hookah lounge shuttered seven weeks ago by the city Health Department remains closed while the owner awaits a state hearing over whether the Middle Eastern-style smoking parlor can reopen.

The hearing before a Department of Public Health official next month may be the first of its kind, a lawyer said Thursday, as the subject of hookahs -- tall water pipes used to smoke flavored tobacco -- seemed unfamiliar to state and local officials when it popped up on public radar earlier this year.

DPH officials were unsure whether other cases involving hookah lounges have ever been heard by state regulators in the past...

Karout's lawyer, Steven J. Leo, of Milford firm Castignoli, Skudlarek & Leo, said he's not aware of any other such hearings or any precedent on the subject of hookah lounges since the state ban on smoking in public places became effective in 2004.

Among the topics likely to be debated at the hearing are the health risks associated with hookahs and the fact that smoking is not prohibited in private clubs, he said.

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