Ore. House to vote on disputed hookah bill
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- The Oregon House is scheduled to vote Wednesday on curbing the growth of hookah lounges that allow customers to smoke flavored tobacco.
The measure would impose tough new restrictions on smoke shops, including a requirement that new they have no more than four seats, don't serve food and allow smoking only for sampling purposes.
The measure initially had strong support from health advocates concerned about the hazards of smoking. But some of the bill's biggest supporters now want it killed because of last-minute changes made in the Senate. Those changes would allow an influx of new hookah lounges between now and the time the bill becomes law.
Health advocates also oppose changes to the bill that also would allow cigar shops in strip malls in some cases.