The state legislature’s Public Health Committee voted on Friday in favor of a bill that would ban hookah lounges in the state.
Those in favor of the bill argue that the age-old Middle Eastern hookahs, the increasingly popular establishments where customers smoke flavored tobacco and herbs, isn’t healthy.
But state Sen. Rob Kane said the bill is bad for business.
“We are literally putting businesses out of business with this bill,” said Kane.
The bill is bad news for Sammer Karout, who has been trying to open a hookah lounge in Milford.
Karout said in February he had a location secured, signs hanging, ready for opening night, when the Milford Zoning Board denied his request to open the lounge based on parking issues.
The bill now heads to the General Assembly and Senate floors. If enacted, the ban would start in July.