North Carolina smoking ban includes banning hookah bars..

June 1, 2009 - As pointed out by Adam Bliss, owner of Hookah Bliss in Chapel Hill the North Carolina smoking ban will likely require about 20 hookah (argileh nargile, hubble-bubble, water pipe, hooka, shisha, goza, meassel, water pipe, sheesha) bars across the state to close. (North Carolina - legislators approve smoking ban..)

Now North Carolina hookah bar owners are joining forces to save their businesses. In the coming weeks, they hope to persuade state lawmakers to make legislative exemptions for them similar to those granted cigar bars and country clubs that will allow smoking after the indoor ban takes effect January 1, 2010.

Sen. Ellie Kinnaird, a Democrat from Carrboro, tried to persuade a colleague in the state Senate to make an exemption for hookah bars before the ban was approved last month. But the bill sponsor would not go along with the proposal because of the health hazards the bars pose for young smokers.

For the sake of the younsters that frequent these bars do not let the exemption happen. Dr. Adam Goldstein, director of the tobacco prevention and evaluation program at University of North Carolina Medical Center."The simple fact is that hookah smoking is no better, and it may be worse, than any other smoke." Goldstein does not favor smoking ban exemptions for hookah bars, and he is no more supportive of those in place for cigar bars.

Researchers have found that hookah smokers inhale more often and for longer periods than typical cigarette smokers. Scientists estimate that by puffing longer and in greater volume, a waterpipe smoker inhales the equivalent of 100 cigarettes or more during a single waterpipe session. (Dangers of hookah (waterpipe) smoking - Harvard Mental Health Letter..)

Just like with cigarette, health care workers warn that hookah smokers are susceptible to bronchitis, emphysema, heart disease, various cancers and other problems associated with smoking.

Reference: Smoking ban threatens hookahs Hookah bar owners anxious about their survival hope for an exemption such as that for cigar bars by ANNE BLYTHE, The News & Observer, 6/1/2009.

A couple related news briefs: Hookah smoking popular among college crowd..; Hookahs on college campuses becoming growing public health issue..