A bill that would have included hookah smoke into the 2010 South Dakota smoking ban takes an unexpected turn.
The House Local Government committee voted Friday to include an amendment to the bill which would permit the smoking of hookah in certain licensed establishments.
The owners of Rapid City's Ifrits Hookah Lounge testified in Pierre that their business should receive the exemption provided to similar establishments such as cigar bars, which are allowed to serve alcohol.
Opponents testified hookah smoke contains 36 times more tar than regular cigarettes, and poses a public health risk.
Committee members ultimately ruled hookah lounges should be grand fathered in because the original smoking ban language was not clear.
If passed, the bill would allow Ifrits and other hookah bars to serve alcohol.