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NYC hookah bars targeted in undercover Health Department sting

The city's Health Department operated an undercover sting with the help of New York UDaniel Zuchnik/Getty

The Health Department said Wednesday it wants to revoke licenses for 13 hookah bars violating the city's anti-smoking law.

Bars can offer a commonly used substance known as shisha so long as it’s tobacco-free, the agency explained.

The Health Department operated an undercover sting with the help of New York University students to identify the bars in Manhattan and Queens illegally offering shisha with tobacco.

"These 13 hookah bars are knowingly flouting the law by serving tobacco-based shisha," said Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett. "We will not tolerate this willful disregard of New York City’s smoke-free air laws and have already taken steps to revoke the permits of these establishments."

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The agency said they discreetly took samples from the bars and sent them in for testing only to find all contained tobacco.

Tobacco smoking was banned in workplaces, restaurants and bars in the city in 2002.

None of the establishments were available for comment.

They include:

  • Parlay Café, 1780 Amsterdam Avenue, Manhattan
  • 9A NYC Kitchen and Lounge, 2331 West 12th Avenue, Manhattan
  • Luxor Lounge, 118 MacDougal Street, Manhattan
  • Le Souk Harem, 510 LaGuardia Place, Manhattan
  • Falucka, 162 Bleecker Street, Manhattan
  • Cozy Café, 43 East 1st Street, Manhattan
  • Sahara East, 184 1st Avenue, Manhattan
  • Cloister Café, 238 East 9th Street, Manhattan
  • Kazuza, 107 Avenue A, Manhattan
  • Fayrooz Hookah Lounge and Bar, 28-08 Steinway Street, Queens
  • Melody Lounge, 25-95 Steinway Street, Queens
  • Layla Hookah Lounge, 181-34 Union Turnpike, Queens
  • Cloud 9, 179-22 Union Turnpike, Queens
 
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