hookah ban toronto

Hookah smoking could be banned at Toronto bars

It might be the last days for hookah smoking in Toronto bars and restaurants. Toronto Public Health wants to ban shisha on account of what it characterizes as a risk to the public's wellbeing. The report cites health risks that are also affiliated with conventional tobacco smoking, which was recently banned on patios and in parks in addition to the interiors of establishments.

Naturally the proposed ban hasn't come without some controversy. A report from the CBC highlights the reactions of one local hookah bar operator who claims that the ban would not only hurt his business but is also unfair to his community, for whom smoking shisha is a cultural pastime.

Given the anti-smoking climate in this city and beyond, I suspect that argument won't fare too well against the sentiment that all forms of smoking -- including the e-cigarettes -- pose risk.

"Hookah use in public places undermines the success of the SFOA and other smoke-free laws because it contributes to the social acceptability of smoking in public," argues the city's medical offer of health David McKeown. "This change is an important step toward creating safer and healthier spaces for residents."

The report will be considered at a meeting on June 1st.


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