Seattle health agency files first smoking lawsuits - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Seattle health agency files first smoking lawsuits

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Associated Press - October 12, 2008 5:45 PM ET

SEATTLE (AP) - An English-style pub and a Middle East-style restaurant are being sued by the Seattle-King County health department.

The cases filed Friday against Zaina Cafe, a hookah lounge, and The George & Dragon Pub are the agency's first under the state's indoor smoking ban.

Department spokesman James Apa says about 10 restaurants and bars in the county have been fined since the initiative was approved in 2005, and nearly all took steps to comply.

By contrast, tobacco prevention program manager Scott Neal, tells the Seattle Post-Intelligencer that the pub and the hookah lounge "have exhibited little or no sincerity with coming into compliance."

Zaina owner Shaher Abuelkhair tells The Seattle Times he'd go broke without the hookah business.

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