Establishments where patrons smoke tobacco using a water pipe could remain open in North Carolina in legislation heading to the full House.
A judiciary committee Tuesday evening narrowly approved a bill
to allow hookah bars open as of July 1 to keep selling after a new
smoking ban in bars and restaurants takes effect next year.
A hookah consists of a bowl connected to a vase of water with a
tube and mouthpiece. The tobacco sits inside the bowl and is heated
by charcoal, producing a vapor to be inhaled.
Rep. Cullie Tarleton said otherwise lawful hookah bars should be
able to keep operating. He said about 20 such bars exist in the
state, mostly in college towns.
Cigar bars already will be exempt from the smoking ban.