The Glen Cove City Council took a step toward banning hookah bars from the city Tuesday, referring an amendment to the city code to the planning board.
If the planning board approves the change or takes no action, the City Council will hold a public hearing and vote on the amendment this summer. “I want to ensure that going forward our community continues to be family friendly and does everything it can to protect the health and welfare of our young people,” Mayor Reginald Spinello said.
The council unanimously voted to refer the amendment to the planning board, voting 6-0, including Spinello’s vote.
The zoning change would define a hookah lounge as any establishment whose business includes smoking tobacco or other substances through a hookah pipe. It would also add hookah lounges to the types of businesses prohibited.
Frank Cipollino, 71, spoke against banning hookah lounges during a public comment period after the meeting. “People want to smoke, that’s their God-given right,” Cipollino said.
City Councilman Anthony Gallo Jr. said he hoped Cipollino understood they wanted to create a healthier Glen Cove. “The goal of this law is to protect the health of our youth,” Gallo said.
Earlier this month, the city toughened its regulations on electronic cigarettes. After the meeting, Spinello said he didn’t want to give the impression that he was against everything.
“People smoke cigars and that stuff is fine, but this is a different type of thing,” Spinello said of the hookah lounge ban.
Hookah smokers inhale through water pipes that cool down the smoke. Hookah users may inhale much more smoke during a session than they would with cigarettes, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.