Toronto hookah lounges face ruin as court dismisses appeal of city ban

News Jun 13, 2017 by Mike Adler Scarborough Mirror

Toronto’s hookah lounges face enforcement of the city’s ban on smoking shisha in public, after the Ontario Court of Appeal unanimously dismissed a challenge by lounge owners Tuesday.

The lounge owners, whose businesses continued hosting herbal shisha-smoking during the two-year-long legal challenge, have maintained the ban would devastate their businesses and force many to close.

The lounges sell food, but not alcohol, and are said to make most of their income from shisha.

“We’re obviously disappointed,” Ryan Zigler, a North York lawyer representing several owners who took the case to the Appeal Court, arguing the city was unlawfully trying to prohibit and close their businesses.

A Superior Court decision went against the owners last fall, however, and so did a panel of three Appeal Court judges who heard arguments last week.

The businesses “may continue to sell shisha. What they cannot do is to permit the smoking of hookah pipes on their business premises,” noted Justices Karen Weiler, Katherine van Rensburg and Grant Huscroft.

“There is no doubt that many hookah lounges will suffer economic harm as a result of the bylaw and may no longer be economically viable, but it does not follow that this is the bylaw’s purpose.”

The decision prompted Toronto Public Health to say the city’s tobacco enforcement staff will start investigating compliance with the hookah use prohibitions.

“The outcome of investigations can include issuing warnings, tickets and summonses and possibly initiating Licensing Tribunal hearings,” said Melissa Simone, a Toronto Public Health spokesperson.

Shisha bars and hookah lounges have been concentrated in Scarborough’s Wexford Heights, the East Danforth and some other areas of the city. Their owners have argued shisha is not more harmful than marijuana or alcohol, and their businesses are important community gathering places.

Rob Cunningham, a senior policy analyst for the Canadian Cancer Society, called the judgment an important victory for public health.

“The judgment will prompt other Ontario municipalities to adopt bylaws similar to Toronto, banning hookah smoking in public places,” he added in a statement.

“Employees and customers should not be exposed to toxic and cancer-causing substances found in second-hand hookah smoke.”


Toronto hookah lounges face ruin as court dismisses appeal of city ban

Toronto Public Health says enforcement of bylaw will begin

News Jun 13, 2017 by Mike Adler Scarborough Mirror

Toronto’s hookah lounges face enforcement of the city’s ban on smoking shisha in public, after the Ontario Court of Appeal unanimously dismissed a challenge by lounge owners Tuesday.

The lounge owners, whose businesses continued hosting herbal shisha-smoking during the two-year-long legal challenge, have maintained the ban would devastate their businesses and force many to close.

The lounges sell food, but not alcohol, and are said to make most of their income from shisha.

“We’re obviously disappointed,” Ryan Zigler, a North York lawyer representing several owners who took the case to the Appeal Court, arguing the city was unlawfully trying to prohibit and close their businesses.

A Superior Court decision went against the owners last fall, however, and so did a panel of three Appeal Court judges who heard arguments last week.

The businesses “may continue to sell shisha. What they cannot do is to permit the smoking of hookah pipes on their business premises,” noted Justices Karen Weiler, Katherine van Rensburg and Grant Huscroft.

“There is no doubt that many hookah lounges will suffer economic harm as a result of the bylaw and may no longer be economically viable, but it does not follow that this is the bylaw’s purpose.”

The decision prompted Toronto Public Health to say the city’s tobacco enforcement staff will start investigating compliance with the hookah use prohibitions.

“The outcome of investigations can include issuing warnings, tickets and summonses and possibly initiating Licensing Tribunal hearings,” said Melissa Simone, a Toronto Public Health spokesperson.

Shisha bars and hookah lounges have been concentrated in Scarborough’s Wexford Heights, the East Danforth and some other areas of the city. Their owners have argued shisha is not more harmful than marijuana or alcohol, and their businesses are important community gathering places.

Rob Cunningham, a senior policy analyst for the Canadian Cancer Society, called the judgment an important victory for public health.

“The judgment will prompt other Ontario municipalities to adopt bylaws similar to Toronto, banning hookah smoking in public places,” he added in a statement.

“Employees and customers should not be exposed to toxic and cancer-causing substances found in second-hand hookah smoke.”


Toronto hookah lounges face ruin as court dismisses appeal of city ban

Toronto Public Health says enforcement of bylaw will begin

News Jun 13, 2017 by Mike Adler Scarborough Mirror

Toronto’s hookah lounges face enforcement of the city’s ban on smoking shisha in public, after the Ontario Court of Appeal unanimously dismissed a challenge by lounge owners Tuesday.

The lounge owners, whose businesses continued hosting herbal shisha-smoking during the two-year-long legal challenge, have maintained the ban would devastate their businesses and force many to close.

The lounges sell food, but not alcohol, and are said to make most of their income from shisha.

“We’re obviously disappointed,” Ryan Zigler, a North York lawyer representing several owners who took the case to the Appeal Court, arguing the city was unlawfully trying to prohibit and close their businesses.

A Superior Court decision went against the owners last fall, however, and so did a panel of three Appeal Court judges who heard arguments last week.

The businesses “may continue to sell shisha. What they cannot do is to permit the smoking of hookah pipes on their business premises,” noted Justices Karen Weiler, Katherine van Rensburg and Grant Huscroft.

“There is no doubt that many hookah lounges will suffer economic harm as a result of the bylaw and may no longer be economically viable, but it does not follow that this is the bylaw’s purpose.”

The decision prompted Toronto Public Health to say the city’s tobacco enforcement staff will start investigating compliance with the hookah use prohibitions.

“The outcome of investigations can include issuing warnings, tickets and summonses and possibly initiating Licensing Tribunal hearings,” said Melissa Simone, a Toronto Public Health spokesperson.

Shisha bars and hookah lounges have been concentrated in Scarborough’s Wexford Heights, the East Danforth and some other areas of the city. Their owners have argued shisha is not more harmful than marijuana or alcohol, and their businesses are important community gathering places.

Rob Cunningham, a senior policy analyst for the Canadian Cancer Society, called the judgment an important victory for public health.

“The judgment will prompt other Ontario municipalities to adopt bylaws similar to Toronto, banning hookah smoking in public places,” he added in a statement.

“Employees and customers should not be exposed to toxic and cancer-causing substances found in second-hand hookah smoke.”