San Francisco, CA (AP) –San Francisco health officials are moving to shut down so-called hookah lounges, which they say have been violating state and local bans on indoor smoking.
Three of the city’s estimated 17 hookah (WHO-kah) lounges have been ordered to stop serving the tobacco pipes. The owners of those lounges — Dream Hookah Lounge, Cafe Chanta and Cairo Nights — appeared at hearings set up by the city’s Public Health Department this week.
San Francisco has banned smoking inside enclosed workplaces since the 1990s. But the policy did not say specifically whether hookah lounges were covered, so some of the businesses continued operating.
The Board of Supervisors, however, amended the city’s antismoking law last year to ban smoking at all businesses with permits to serve food. City officials say most of San Francisco’s hookah lounges are in that category.