Seattle may shutdown illegal indoor smoking lounges after complaints of crime and violence said Mayor Ed Murray.
Over the past 18 months, there have been three homicides and other violence in the smoking lounges. Seattle police have responded to more than 100 fights and disturbances linked to smoking lounges since 2012.
"Far too many smoking lounges attract and sustain illegal, violent activity that has no place in our neighborhoods. These establishments are unlawful businesses that continue to thumb their noses at the law," said Murray.
According to a Seattle police department spokesman, the homicides occurred in the vicinity of the businesses, and also other crimes such as theft, trespassing, disturbances and assault.
There are a dozen indoor smoking lounges that typically offer customers water pipes for smoking tobacco.
The city estimates there are about a dozen indoor smoking lounges. They typically offer customers water pipes for smoking tobacco.
State law bans smoking in indoor public places and places of employment, but Seattle lacks the authority under current law to revoke the lounges' licenses or shut them down over smoking violations alone, said John Schochet, a spokesman for the city attorney.