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Public Health - Seattle & King County

Tobacco Prevention Program

Tobacco Prevention Program

An hour-long hookah smoking session involves 200 puffs, while smoking an average cigarette involves 20 puffs.

Hookah-pipe image source: CDC

Current interest

Hookah smoking is no safe alternative

  • Hookah smoke is tobacco smoke. It has tar, carcinogens and heavy metals (just as harmful as regular cigarettes). Toxic agents known to cause lung, bladder, oral cancers, heart disease.

  • Hookah use is popular among youth. Approximately 12% of King County high school seniors had used hookahs in the past month—about the same as smoking traditional cigarettes (2014 Healthy Youth Survey.)

  • Hookah lounges are considered public places Hookah lounges, even with a membership fee, are considered to be open to the public and therefore must comply with Smoking In Public Places Act and BOH code. Smoking isn’t allowed in public places.

More information on hookah use and health

Regulating e-cigarettes, hookahs and other tobacco products
New federal regulations proposed by the Food and Drug Administration.

Electronic cigarettes:

Locally, the King County Board of Health passed Title 19.12 in 2010 regulating electronic cigarettes and similar "vaping" devices. Learn more from our fact sheet. Key points of the code:

  1. Prohibits selling electronic cigarettes or liquid nicotine to minors under age 18.
  2. Prohibits offering free or nominal cost electronic cigarettes.
  3. Prohibits electronic cigarette use in public places and places of employment.

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Seattle, WA 98104


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