The hookah pipe is a popular method of smoking tobacco. Originally from India, the tradition has spread around the world over several centuries as the world has become more and more of a global melting pot of cultures. Although the hookah is present in some form in most countries around the world, the laws surrounding their use can differ a good deal from country to country. This article will explain a brief breakdown of the major differences between hookah laws in different parts of the world.
In the United States, hookah lounges and bars were affected negatively by the introduction of laws banning smoking in public places and tobacco bans. Some hookah users and bars get around this by smoking an alternative tobacco substitute made from herbs. It is also possible for the proprietor of a hookah lounge to apply for a special permit that allows people to smoke on their premises. But generally speaking, there are not so many places now where you can find a hookah unless the bar is not specifically dedicated to hookah smoking. It is difficult for a bar owner to obtain a special permit if they have customers who are not there to smoke. There are also many people campaigning to make sure that the hookah lounges aren’t allowed to simply work their way around the new laws.
In Canada and Britain, places, where hookah pipes are smoked, are often referred to as shisha bars. Canadian shisha bar owners have managed to arrange special permits to allow them to continue their business in the face of the smoking legislation, just like in the US. As with smoking cigarettes, there is a legal age that applies to smoking shisha. In Canada the legal age for smoking varies between 18 and 19, depending on the state.
There have been new anti-smoking laws introduced in the UK in recent years, similar to the new laws in the States. Mostly they focus on banning smoking in indoor or closed-off areas. There are fines involved for individuals who violate the laws, but the proprietors themselves face much heavier fines than the individual actually caught smoking.
Of course, despite these limits, it is still legal to smoke a shisha pipe in the privacy of your own home in all these countries – provided you are in an area that doesn’t have a full tobacco ban. The laws are designed to reduce the impact of smoking on other people who would prefer a smoke-free environment.