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Escondido Bans Hookah Lounges

Escondido Bans Hookah Lounges
San Diego County's fourth largest city has decided to ban hookah lounges. The Escondido City Council cited concerns over second-hand smoke as a reason to turn away such businesses.

San Diego County's fourth largest city has decided to ban hookah lounges. The Escondido City Council cited concerns over second-hand smoke as a reason to turn away such businesses.

Some Escondido City Council members said they'd be willing to consider hookah lounges only under tight restrictions. In the end, the city chose not to allow them at all.

That's not the case in San Diego. There are a number of hookah lounges in Pacific Beach and Sorrento Valley.

Debra Kelley is with the American Lung Association. She says some of them are operating in violation of state law.

"If they're allowing smoking indoors, and selling or providing any kind of food or beverages or even a glass of water, then they shouldn't be allowing smoking indoors," Kelley says. "They're not a retail tobacco store."

Hookahs are especially popular among young people. Researchers say hookah smoking is just as dangerous as cigarette smoking.

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