Police Raid Valley Hookah Lounges, Write Citations

All the unnamed locations -- in Sherman Oaks and Van Nuys -- were found in violation of the smoking law, which prohibits smoking in areas intended for the consumption of food.

A hookah. Patch file photo.
A hookah. Patch file photo.

All six hookah lounges in the Van Nuys and Sherman Oaks area where compliance checks were conducted were cited for various violations, authorities announced today.

The raids were conducted by Los Angeles Police Department vice officers, the City Attorney's Office Tobacco Enforcement Unit, Alcohol Beverage Control, State Board of Equalization and the state's Labor Department, according to LAPD vice Officer Brian Frost

All the unnamed locations were found in violation of the smoking law, which prohibits smoking in outdoor dining areas or areas intended for the consumption of food, Frost said.

Other violations cited included possession of altered alcoholic beverages, allowing smoking inside the workplace and unauthorized possession of distilled spirits, according to Frost.

Agents from the State Board of Equalization also seized tobacco in cases where owners could not provide a bill of sale, according to police.

Hookah lounges are not illegal, but smoking in any establishment, whether it be cigarettes, cigars, vapor or hookah, where food and alcohol was being served was in violation of both state and local laws, Frost said.

Authorities declined to identify the hookah shops raided because there was a continuing investigation involving these business.

--City News Service

Ron O June 26, 2014 at 09:54 AM
Criminalizing normal conduct is a new low for the lifestyle police. I guess the cops can arrest you for breathing now. I hope all of you "feel good" liberals are happy now. Our freedoms keep disappearing. Sad.
Sheri Haas June 26, 2014 at 10:43 AM
So go live where this is not illegal. Everyone wants to live in America and then complains. Find somewhere that meets your needs better. Actually breathing is the point. I dont need my air polluted by smokers. Follow the laws or work to change them.
Erich Miller June 26, 2014 at 02:58 PM
Sheri I over looked your first point. You represent the the new America- my way or no way. That is not what made America. Live and let live unified America.
Ron O June 26, 2014 at 12:15 PM
Why are you going to a Hookah lounge to eat Sheri? Let's ban cars too. People like you are Stalinists.
Mary A June 26, 2014 at 03:35 PM
I'm a smoker and fully agree the LAPD was enforcing the laws, that's what they are supposed to do. My unhealthy habit should not impose on others rights to have a smoke free eating area. If I need a fix, I go to a smoking area or someplace it won't bother others. It's not all about me.


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