A Rapid City judge who will decide whether hookah consumption falls under South Dakota's ban on smoking in public places sampled the product to get firsthand experience.
Judge Jeff Davis is presiding over a trial that will determine whether Ifrits Hookah Lounge can sell alcohol. The statewide smoking ban prohibits businesses that sell tobacco from also selling alcohol.
Ifrits stopped selling alcohol in 2010 after authorities told the business it would be cited for violating the law. The business then sued.
Assistant City Attorney Carla Cushman says hookah smoke is tobacco smoke. Ifrits attorney Steven Wesolick says hookah smoke is different from cigarette or cigar smoke.
Davis will decide. On Wednesday he went to the lounge and took a draw from a hookah pipe himself.
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