Friday night marked the opening of a new business into Fort Collins. (Name), (address), is the first hookah bar to open in the city. The small bar opened up under the Alley Cat, a local coffee shop.
Controversy has risen recently with the increase of entrepreneurs looking to open up a hookah bar in town and facing opposition from both the City Attorney's Office and some citizens. Perhaps one of the largest hurdles to jump is the no smoking ordinance the Fort Collins City Council implemented in October 2003.
Hookah bars should be exempt from the ordinance. Patrons inhabit these locales for the sole purpose of smoking and socializing. Employees, often smokers themselves, know they will spend their shifts in a smoky haze.
People often find a negative stigma attached to hookahs because of their resemblance to a bong. However, hookahs, also known as water pipes, are used to smoke a tobacco mixture that usually contains 30 percent tobacco and 70 percent fruit flavorings, molasses and/or honey, depending on the manufacturer, according to http://www.goaskalice.columbia.edu.
Although hookah does contain nicotine and can have adverse health affects, a hookah smoker is still exposed to fewer toxins than a cigarette or cigar smoker. Also, smoking a hookah tends to be a more social activity, not one of addiction, making the occurrence of smoking much less.
(Name of bar) should be welcomed to the Fort Collins' business community, but customers should take into account the possible health risks and not judge it as being 100 percent safe.
Brandon is going to the hookah bar tonight and will call with the name, address and confirmation that it is in fact the first hookah bar in Fort Collins.