Circuit Court Judge Jeff Davis issued a decision Thursday in the case of Desmond v. Vargo and Allender, finding that hookah does constitute the smoking of tobacco and falls within the South Dakota state smoking ban.
South Dakota state law prohibits smoking tobacco in a public place or place of employment. Certain retail tobacco shops are exempt from this ban, but they may not sell alcohol. Previously, Ifrits Hookah Lounge sold alcohol and allowed smoking hookah within the business. When faced with enforcement of the regulations related to the serving of alcohol in a retail tobacco store, Ifrits filed suit and argued that it was exempt from the smoking ban because hookah did not constitute the smoking of tobacco under state law.
According to Davis' decision, hookah does constitute smoking tobacco under state law. To be compliant with the law, Ifrits may not sell alcohol and may only allow hookah in their business if they meet the requirements of a retail tobacco store outlined in SDCL 34-46-19.
Ifrits Hookah Lounge has 30 days from entry of the judgment against them to appeal the decision to the South Dakota Supreme Court.