Thanks to lobbying by the affected industries, Michigan's new smoking ban includes exemptions for cigar bars and casinos. The hookah cafés that dot the Detroit area were not so lucky. Without an exemption, the cafés will have to either stop serving food or stop offering the flavored tobacco in towering water pipes favored by the area's large Arab-American population.
Either way, they'll lose their role as places people gather to eat, drink, smoke, and talk. "It's a double standard," Akram Allos, owner of Sinbad Café in Dearborn, complained to the Detroit Free Press. "Just because we didn't have a lobbyist, why should we have to suffer?"