Two Astoria hookah bars may be shut down for serving tobacco
Two hookah bars in Astoria were part of the 13 hookah bars in New York City found to be selling shisha that contained tobacco during an undercover investigation conducted by the Health Department.
Hookah bars are places where patrons can sit and smoke shisha, which is made up of herbs, molasses and, frequently, tobacco.
But serving shisha that contains tobacco is a violation of New York City’s 2002 Smoke-Free Air Act that prohibits smoking in workplaces.
Health Department inspectors and NYU students teamed up and took samples from shisha served at 13 hookah bars on Friday, Nov. 14. Both Fayrooz Hookah Lounge and Bar (28-08 Steinway Street) and Melody Lounge (25-95 Steinway Street) were included in that investigation and were found to have tobacco in their product.
Each of the other samples also tested positive for tobacco, and now the Health Department is starting the process of revoking the permits from all of the bars and restaurants.
“These 13 hookah bars are knowingly flouting the law by serving tobacco-based shisha,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett. “Tobacco smoke is dangerous for the health of the smoker, patrons and those who work in these establishments. We will not tolerate this willful disregard of New York City’s smoke-free air laws and have already taken steps to revoke the permits of these establishments.”