smoking ban

Law
5:00 am
Tue December 17, 2013

New Products Complicate Enforcement Of State Smoking Ban

Gerry Broome AP Photo

Nearly a decade has passed since Washington state banned smoking in public areas and workplaces. 

But smoking has evolved since, and that leaves health officials with challenges as they try to enforce a law that didn’t foresee the rise of new products.

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Smoking laws
1:36 pm
Mon September 17, 2012

Should hookah bars remain open despite Washington's indoor smoking ban?

In this 2005 file photo Cary Wilson (right) and Lyle Klyne smoke a hookah in Fire and Earth, a former Olympia hookah lounge, days prior to the smoking ban. The business continues to sell hookahs, smoking supplies and gifts.
John Froschauer AP

Washington banned indoor smoking nearly seven years ago, but one exception survives: hookah lounges.

Local health departments have struggled to shut them down. 

The lounges say they’re private clubs, not public venues, so the law doesn’t apply. They all charge some sort of membership fee, typically about $5.

That defense doesn’t sway health officials, like Frank DiBiase of the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department. His office inspected three hookah bars in Tacoma last year.

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Park rules
9:30 am
Tue December 6, 2011

Vancouver, Wash., council bans tobacco in city parks

The freedom to smoke no longer includes parks in Vancouver, Wash.
Simen Svale Skogsrud Flickr

VANCOUVER, Wash. — The Vancouver City Council voted Monday to ban tobacco from city parks and recreation centers.

The council heard from at least one speaker who called the ban a form of discrimination.

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