All six hookah lounges in the Van Nuys and Sherman Oaks area where compliance checks were conducted were cited for various violations, authorities announced today.
The raids were conducted by Los Angeles Police Department vice officers, the City Attorney's Office Tobacco Enforcement Unit, Alcohol Beverage Control, State Board of Equalization and the state's Labor Department, according to LAPD vice Officer Brian Frost
All the unnamed locations were found in violation of the smoking law, which prohibits smoking in outdoor dining areas or areas intended for the consumption of food, Frost said.
Other violations cited included possession of altered alcoholic beverages, allowing smoking inside the workplace and unauthorized possession of distilled spirits, according to Frost.
Agents from the State Board of Equalization also seized tobacco in cases where owners could not provide a bill of sale, according to police.
Hookah lounges are not illegal, but smoking in any establishment, whether it be cigarettes, cigars, vapor or hookah, where food and alcohol was being served was in violation of both state and local laws, Frost said.
Authorities declined to identify the hookah shops raided because there was a continuing investigation involving these business.
--City News Service