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Hookah lounges crackdown to begin in Glendale

August 13, 2011 |  9:10 am


Glendale officials have decided against legalizing hookah lounges in the city.

That means businesses that sell hookah — currently there are two that city officials say they are aware of — will be getting notices of violations.If they don’t nix their illegal hookah activities, the city can take them to court, which could lead to jail time or fines, Neighborhood Services Administrator Sam Engel told the Glendale News-Press.

In 2008, the city passed a fresh air ordinance restricting smoking to 25% of a restaurant’s outdoor space, a number city officials acknowledge was arbitrary. Currently, hookah isn’t explicitly banned in the zoning code, but businesses that offer it are violating the fresh air law. On top of that, businesses that serve hookah indoors are violating state indoor smoking prohibitions.

For several months, city committees have been discussing updates to a variety of rules, including those governing hookah use. The Zoning Code Advisory Group was split on permitting hookah, with some members describing it as a cultural activity, and others voicing concerns about the health effects of secondhand smoke.


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Photo: Hookah lounge. Credit: Getty Images