Since Bloomberg banned smoking in bars and restaurants in 2002 the city has turned a blind eye to a number hookah bars where underage NYU co-eds puff away near campus and ex-pats from the Middle East gather for tea and gossip in Queens. Now, seemingly out of nowhere, the city is cracking down on 13 of these places that are selling shisha with tobacco in it, reports Gothamist. The health department recently conducted a hookah bar sting, using NYU student ringers to help inspectors nab some samples to prove the presence of tobacco, and today the DOH is filing court papers against those bars. If they go through, these places would likely lose their permits and be forced to shutter (it's unclear if they could re-apply for permits down the line or reopen solely as food and beverage establishments). Check out the full list of places before they are gone.
Health Department Conducts Hookah Bar Sting, Cracking Down on Tobacco Use
Thirteen of them may be forced to shutter soon.