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Ottawa eyes hookah smoking ban in Toronto

May 6, 2016

In a vote of 34 to 3, Toronto council agreed to stop any hookah smoking in city-licensed businesses starting this spring. 

‘The smoke coming off herbal products has toxic metals,’ says Sherry Nigro, Manager of Health Promotion and Disease for Ottawa Public Health, ‘it has cancer-causing chemicals and high rates of carbon monoxide.  There’s solid evidence of the harmful effects of herbal products, too.’

There is growing concern, too, about the number of young people smoking hookahs.  Carol McDonald is with the Ottawa Council on Smoking or Health and congratulates Toronto on its ban.

‘There are myths among the youth that they are less hazardous than they seem,’ says Mcdonald, adding, ‘It would be a great day for public health if the hookah bars were shut down here.’

Local statistics show that 50 percent of young adults have used water pipes and about 1 in 5 teenagers. Read more

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