Rapid City hookah court case to end lawsuits? - KOTA Territory News

Rapid City hookah court case to end lawsuits?

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Things are still hazy when it comes to hookah lounges but in October, the hookah question could be answered. 

The Seventh Circuit Court will decide whether smoking hookah is the same as smoking tobacco, and therefore falls under the statewide smoking ban.  

The lawsuit was filed by Ifrits Hookah Lounge against the city of Rapid City.

Assistant City Attorney Carla Cushman says no matter which way the court goes, hookah–legal questions, in relation to the smoking ban, should finally be settled. "That will settle the question for Ifrits and any other hookah lounge in the state,"said Cushman. "So I don't foresee future lawsuits on this matter unless the law changes, and there's another legal question."

Legislation to expand the definition of smoking to include hookah failed last legislative session Senator Mark Kirkeby (R), who had formerly co–sponsored the bill, says he is not aware of any legislative attempts to try again, but he wouldn't be on board if there was. "I think it certainly would be a step, in my personal opinion, in the wrong direction as far as creating jobs and growth and economic development, trying to pursue the closer of legal operating businesses," said Kirkeby.

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