Swedish town bans smoking in hookah parlors

Dec. 28, 2013 at 4:28 PM
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SODERTALJE, Sweden, Dec. 28 (UPI) -- Officials in Sodertalje, Sweden, have banned six hookah parlors from letting customers smoke the water pipes because it's hard to control "what's in the fumes."

The owners face fines of 20,000 kroner ($3,000) if anyone is caught lighting up, The Local.se reported.

The ban was imposed by the municipal environment committee in Sodertalje, a town with a large immigrant population, including many newcomers from North Africa and the Middle East.

"We concluded that the public has access, there is a lot of smoking going on, and it is very difficult to control what's in the fumes," Patrik Waldenström, who heads the committee, told The Local. "Often it's tobacco. We can't control what people put in their pipes and the Swedish tobacco law says you must be able to check what is being smoked."

Yusef Ivan at the Schlomo community center told the Lanstidningen, the local newspaper, an appeal is planned.

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