RYS: Show of Lungs: Who Still Thinks Smoking's Cool?: The Philly kids passing around hookah pipes, apparently | Cigarettes Blog

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

RYS: Show of Lungs: Who Still Thinks Smoking's Cool?: The Philly kids passing around hookah pipes, apparently

I don't get the hookah bar craze. Then this week, I read a piece in the New York Times about something I didn't know and I'll bet most of the hipsters sucking on these things don't know, either: Hookahs can be even more hazardous than smoking cigarettes. . . .

Walk around Center City and there's no shortage of hookah bars, from Rittenhouse Square to South Street, and most of them are filled with 20-somethings. At a now-closed Middle Eastern restaurant across from Dirty Frank's, hookahs seemed to be the big draw for the kids who hung out there, many of whom barely looked old enough to buy a pack of Marlboros. I'm sure the crowd migrated somewhere else in town to get their tobacco fix. Hookah bars are in the suburbs, too; there used to be one in a strip mall in Voorhees, next to the old Ritz movie theater and an Office Depot. I wonder if Pennsylvania and New Jersey will follow the lead of other states, like California and Connecticut, and support legislation to limit hookah bars or at least in Philadelphia, bring an end to any exemptions in the indoor smoking ban that create loopholes for hookah bars. And I wonder if college kids would still think these funky pipes were so cool if they knew they could potentially be so addictive or so dangerous.

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