The Canadian city of Winnipeg has suspended a ban on hookah smoking to avoid the risk of legal action

The city of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, decided to ask the provincial government to amend the relevant law and include hookah tobacco in the list of prohibited goods, rather than ban the use of hookah tobacco in public places.

Recently, Canada’s Winnipeg Free Press reported that a potential ban on hookah use in public places could be suspended because it could put the city of Winnipeg at risk of legal action and accusations of discrimination.

 

The city’s policy committee voted not to enact laws and regulations that would ban the use of hookahs indoors and in public places such as patios, such as local lounges. Instead, they voted to ask the provincial government to amend the Cigarette and Vaping Commodity Control Act and add shisha, used in water pipes, to its list of banned commodities.

 

The decision requires permission from the final city government, and “this recommendation applies particularly to a marginalized group… These business leaders have brought the cultural tradition of hookah smoking to Winnipeg. Troy said: “It is wrong for the city and local government, particularly for a marginalized group, to offer different and worse treatment.

 

Traditional hookahs can be smoked using a water pipe with multiple holders, which is a mixture of cigarettes and molasses, sugar, or fruit. In other parts of the world, including the Middle East and India, it is a social activity.

 

Although the Manitoba government has banned smoking and e-cigarette use in indoor public places, the Winnipeg restaurant can still operate as a bong bar by offering guests a way to choose smokeless cigarettes.

 

Asked about allegations that the ban could be seen as discrimination, Scott Mayor Scott Gillingham said: “The focus has always been on smoking products and the health issues of hookah smoking. It’s always been about health and only about health. And I think it’s very, very important to clarify that again.” The mayor said he felt it was appropriate to turn the issue over to the provincial government because it provided the relevant legislation.