CLEARFIELD -- Smoking a hookah, also known as a water pipe, is not allowed in public places under a recent change in city code.
Davis County Health Department adopted a policy banning hookah use about a month and a half ago, said Community Service Director Adam Lenhard.
Cities were asked to not permit hookah lounges or smoking of hookahs in any establishments or in public.
A hookah lounge, or shisha bar, is a place where patrons share flavored tobacco from a communal water pipe. A hookah is a single- or multistemmed instrument with a large base in which the smoke is cooled and filtered through water.
"We felt it was a good idea to put it into our ordinances so those types of commercial establishments couldn't locate in Clearfield," Lenhard said.
But, he said, the code has its limitations. "It doesn't regulate people in their home. It is just commercial."
The city had a public hearing Tuesday night, and only one person spoke on the topic
Resident Mark Christiansen questioned what impact the change in code would have on businesses that sell hookahs. He wanted to know if it pertained only to smoking or to the sale of hookahs as well.
Mayor Don Wood said the code is to prevent the smoking of hookahs in public.
"In the past, people used to use loopholes in the Clean Air Act to be able to use it in a public setting," he said, because the product is not technically lighted like a cigarette. "There is a health concern with that."
That's why, he said, the city is establishing a land-use policy that will prevent hookah bars and hookah use in public places.
"The county already used its regulatory powers to say that it can't be used," Wood said. "We are just coming behind them to say it's not allowed, and we support the county."
Lenhard said he is not aware of any current problems with hookah use in the city or of any places within its limits that offer hookah smoking.
On Monday, Provo adopted a policy banning hookah tobacco smoking, saying hookah bars violate the Utah Indoor Clean Air Act. The move prevents a Provo restaurant from becoming the first in Utah County to add a hookah smoking section.
Information from The Associated Press is included in this article.