What Are They Smoking?


Officials in Kanawha County, West Virginia, have determined that the local smoking ban applies to hookahs, much to the dismay of the man who runs a Middle Eastern restaurant called Sinbad's in South Charleston. The ban defines smoking as "inhaling, exhaling, burning or carrying any lighted cigar, cigarette, pipe or other smoking equipment containing burning tobacco in any manner or in any form." The health department initially was not sure whether the fragrant, fruity mixtures smoked at Sinbad's contained tobacco. If the active ingredient had been hashish or opium, I guess that would have been OK with the health department, although the police might have objected.

[Thanks to Chip Smith for the link.]

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  1. Noooooooooooo! Well, a big, non-Byrd related reason I’m not going to WV. How an they ban shisha? That stuff is delicious, non-harsh and I can convince rabid non-smokers to smoke it.

    Well, when opium dens start making a comeback in Kanawha County, we know why.

  2. This would be a pretty good hook on which to wage the anti-anti-tobacco war, except for one problem.

    Smoking tobacco from hookahs is seen as a Muslim thing, and large swaths of America consider intruding on the activities of Muslims to be a good thing right now.

  3. Ah, Mistah Gharib, I asked for a *hookah,* not this, ah, smoking thing. I’ve driven my cah all the way from Wahshington, and I want a hookah! Cahn’t you understand English?

  4. At least Tommy Chong won’t get arrested in West Virginia.

  5. Given that what is being smoked from the hookahs is tobacco, why should they be exempted from the smoking ban? In fact, given the logic of the anti-smoking crusade, why should smoking anything be exempted from the smoking ban? Smoke from any material is hazardous to the user and potentially hazardous to the people around him or is at least a source of annoyance.

    P.S. Let me be clear that I am against any government mandated smoking ban on private property. I simply do not understand why this should be a particular outrage.

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