Potential Ban on Water Pipes in Public Places Suspended in Winnipeg

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Potential Ban on Water Pipes in Public Places Suspended in Winnipeg
The potential ban on water pipes in public places in Winnipeg may be suspended due to legal risks and discrimination charges.

According to recent reports from the Winnipeg Free Press, the potential ban on the use of water pipes in public places may be put on hold. This is due to concerns that such a move could expose the city of Winnipeg to legal risks and allegations of discrimination.


The Municipal Government Policy Committee has voted against implementing regulations that would ban the use of hookahs in indoor and outdoor public spaces such as local lounges. Instead, they have voted to request the provincial government to amend the "Tobacco and Vaping Products Control Act" to include shisha used in hookahs in its list of prohibited products.


This decision requires final approval from the municipal government. "This proposition specifically targets a marginalized ethnic group... These business leaders have brought the cultural tradition of hookah to Winnipeg. It is unfair for the city government and its community to provide different and worse treatment, especially towards a marginalized ethnic group," Troy Harwood-Jones stated.


Traditional hookah use involves smoking shisha, a mixture of tobacco, molasses, sugar, or fruit, using a hookah pipe with multiple hoses. This is a social activity in other parts of the world, including the Middle East and India.


Despite the ban imposed by the Manitoba provincial government on smoking and e-cigarette use in indoor public places, restaurants in Winnipeg are still able to operate as smoking lounges by offering customers the option of smoke-free tobacco shisha.


When asked about accusations that the ban could be seen as discriminatory, Mayor Scott Gillingham stated, "The city's focus has always been on the health concerns surrounding smoking products and hookah. It has always been about health, solely about health, and I believe it is very important to reiterate that once again." The mayor expressed his belief that handing over this issue to the provincial government is appropriate, as it provides the necessary legislation.


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