Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Legislative committee approves ban on hookahs

In what seems to be an odd bit of legislation that slipped through almost unnoticed, the state legislature's Planning and Development Committee narrowly (11-10) passed along a bill to the Senate that will ban new hookah lounges from opening as a significant health risk.

Hookah lounges represent a relatively small portion of the remaining venues where smoking is currently permitted in the state. Cigar lounges are demonstrably more widespread, yet as far as I know, there haven't been any proposals to limit their spread.

Hmmm...maybe there's some kind of difference between the clientele of the two types of establishments...let's see...cigar bars are often frequented by white American male smokers. Hookah lounges are often frequented by men with Middle Eastern backgrounds.

So while there is a preponderance of cigar lounges when compared to hookah lounges; and assuming that evidence exists that cigars don't consist solely of vitamins A, B, and other essential nutrients; and in fact can give the smoker in question a giant case of cancer, it seems silly to pass a law that only restricts hookah lounges.

Unless, of course, there's a reason besides "significant health risks" for creating a law that would essentially stop those terrible awful swarthy gentlemen from enjoying a bit of tobacco, which, by the way, is still legal in so many various forms that I'm sure a person could legally apply it to every square inch of their body exposed to the air, including the lining of their lungs and the soft tissue in their mouths.

But hookah lounges are the risk that we, the people of Connecticut, must be protected from.

Excuse me, but this is the biggest load of bullshit I've seen emanate from Hartford since the last dairy farm closed there!

(yes, I know dairy cows technically don't produce "bullshit", being that they are females, but I simply wanted to use a colorful phrase to amplify my point!)

The Courant has more:
Rep. Kim Rose, D-Milford, a member of the planning and development committee, compared hookah lounges to cigar bars. "I understand the health concerns, but if somebody wants to smoke at a hookah lounge, it's their right,'' she said.

Rose said she questioned how many tuberculosis cases had been linked to hookah smoking but never received an answer. She said she favored regulations so smokers are aware of the risk but did not support an outright ban.

Hookah smoking is a centuries-old tradition in the Middle East. Patrons gather in lounges to talk, drink tea and puff on hoses connected to large water pipes whose bowls are filled with flavored tobacco. In recent years, several such businesses have opened in the state, while others have been rejected by local authorities.
Here in Milford, the Planning & Zoning Committee has successfully rejected a proposed hookah lounge their permit due to parking constraints. It seems odd that they previously allowed all manner of businesses to open in the same strip mall, including a popular bar and several well-frequented businesses.

It's very puzzling to me. And kind of sad.


Anonymous said...



CT Bob said...

Not really related to my story at all.

I will say that Malloy's layoffs do not equal stripping state unions of their collective bargaining rights. I'm not happy about his heavy-handed actions here, but there's still quite a bit of daylight between Dannell and that schmuck from Wisconsin.

vagabondblogger said...

Hookah smoking is quite popular with college students as well as those swarthy middle eastern types. I recall reading something last year (?) about a man who proposed to open a sheesha joint near UCONN (personally, I thought of trying out a sheesha truck, that traveled around, like a food truck - all outdoor.)
I'm confused about this too. Sheesha joints provide plastic tips to each smoker so they don't share germs. I don't know if you can get TB from smoking sheesha, but I do know that in Egypt, where it is extremely popular TB is not the top disease - Hep C is. And you done't and can't get that from sharing a sheesha pipe. No possible way!
Sheesha has a wonderful fragrance since it comes in a variety of flavors. It reminds me of that old pipe smoker who had cherry tobacco, except better!
If you want to really perk up your sheesha, you use vodka instead of water (something I learned while living in Abu Dhabi.) I have tried it, but never really cared for it that much, even though I love the smell.
From what I've read, it sounds like they've decided to make this sheesha smoking business something they want to put the kibosh on, and there's never been a definite argument as to "why." - Kalibosha, an Arabic word meaning "arresting." A new word I learned during the Egyptian Revolution, as in "shirta kalibosha" meaning "the police (shirts) have been arrested/jailed."
And, if there's nothing that satisfies Egyptian appetites more than sheesha smoking, it's having the kibosh put on corrupt and violent shirta!
To put it succinctly, I agree, I too am confused and this is total bullshit!

CT Bob said...

Wow. Blogger apparently lost several comments in this thread. I didn't remove them...they're just gone baby gone!

lakezoarian said...

Your entire story above this one disappeared too, Bob.

But to get back "on-topic", I would guess the reason is the prevailing "Islamophobia" pushed on all of us for so many years. Can't tolerate those swarthy hookah-tokin magic carpet-ridin scimitar-weildin A-rabs around here! Hide your daughters before they get abducted into a harem and forced to wars those flimsy garments and finger cymbals, eh? And NO snake-charmers either! (click on my name...)

CT Bob said...

Which article was that? I don't recall.

CT Bob said...

Oh shit, yeah the Prague/Death Penalty article. Shit. Thanks, Blogger!

CT Bob said...

And now, it's suddenly back. Weird!

West Haven Bob said...

Blogger had to delete all comments, apparently in response to a security issue:


CT Bob said...

Thanks Bob.

vagabondblogger said...

Sure, right Bob. Since my sort of longish comment has had the Kibosh put on it - kibosh stems from Arabic. Look it up, cuz I already explained it, but it was kiboshed! As was licensing hookah smoking.

This law is total camel shit!

CT Bob said...

Hehehe...I think you're right VB. They put the kibosh on your kibosh comment!

I did read it before it got kiboshed, and I agree with what you said. It's a shame that your thoughtful comment got lost in the "Great Google Goofup of '11".