As the City of Vancouver moves to regulate pot shops, it’s also considering shutting down Hookah lounges.
The city has the legal authority to force the closure of The Ahwaz Hookah House and Persian Tea House in four weeks, following a seven year court battle.
The business owners violated a city health bylaw banning indoor smoking in 2007 – but appealed.
That appeal was recently dismissed.
City Manager Penny Ballem.
“We have to evolve our public policy along with the best evidence that we have, and with the advice of people who are experts and really have the health of the population as their primary focus.”
“Generally if we go to court to get a judgment against our facility, then our plan would be to ensure they comply with the bylaw.”
Dr. Milan Khara says even though the shops switched from tobacco to herbal shisha, the smoke is still harmful.
“I would completely [be] in support of a law that eliminates the use of Hookah indoors in a commercial premises.”
“It’s really not the point, the point is if you burn a plant material, whether it is tobacco or something else, you produce smoke, and the harm is about smoke here.”
The owner of the shop on Davie Street went on a hunger strike to protest the court’s decision, but to no avail.