Kepa, Inc., d/b/a She-Sha Café and Hookah Lounge v. Virginia Department of Health

She-Sha Café and Hookah Lounge, a retail store and restaurant, appealed a lower court decision that held the café was not exempt from the state law governing smoking indoors.  Under the law, retail tobacco stores, warehouses, and manufacturing facilities are exempt from the law; however, the law applies to restaurants and bars.  The appellate court overturned the lower court’s decision, holding that a retail tobacco store that is also a restaurant is exempt from the provisions of the state law.  The court reasoned that, as a matter of statutory interpretation, it was apparent that the state legislature intended to exempt all retail tobacco stores from the provisions of the law governing smoking indoors, even when that store also operates as a restaurant.  The court declined to define the term “tobacco retail store” or set a threshold at which the sale of tobacco becomes ancillary to a restaurant’s primary business of selling food products.


Kepa, Inc. v. Virginia Dept. of Health, 740 S.E.2d 26 (Va. Ct. App. 2013).

  • United States
  • Dec 17, 2013
  • Virginia Court of Appeals


Plaintiff Kepa, Inc., d/b/a She-Sha Café and Hookah Lounge

Defendant Virginia Department of Health

Legislation Cited

Virginia Clean Indoor Air Act

Related Documents

Type of Litigation

Tobacco Control Topics

Substantive Issues

Type of Tobacco Product