The General Assembly’s Public Health Committee heard testimony Wednesday on a bill requiring the state’s Department Public Health to have oversight authority over the operation of hookah lounges. The commissioner would also be required to come up with regulations for the lounges that protect the health of customers and staff.
Dr. Dennis McBride, Milford’s health director, says he’s concerned about the health risks of sharing hookah pipes and says there is no proven safe way to clean and sanitize the pipes.
Aaron Sawar, who owns the Shish Kebab House in West Hartford, says hookahs are a long-held tradition in Middle Eastern culture. He says there are already enough regulations.