City of Vancouver v. Abdolabbas Abdiannia

City officials sanctioned two hookah bars for violating provisions of an ordinance that prohibit the smoking of hookah in indoor public places.   The defendants claimed that the tobacco-free herbal shisha should not be prohibited under the ordinance. Furthermore, they claimed that the herbal shisha was heated, not ignited, so does not fit under the definition of smoking.  The court ruled that the city had reasonable grounds to prohibit smoking of any substance, that the definition of smoking was neither too broad nor too vague, and that herbal shisha does get "burned" within the ordinary meaning of the word. The court also ruled that the hookah owners and their patrons were unable to show that hookah smoking was religious or that operating a hookah cafe for profit was a function of spiritual faith. Even if they had, the ordinance does not prevent them from smoking hookah in their homes. The court found that no fundamental rights were violated, and upheld the sanctions against the hookah cafes.


City of Vancouver v. Abdolabbas Adbiannia dba Ahwax Hookah House, File No. 31430 & 31458, Vancouver, 11 August, 2014

  • Canada
  • Aug 11, 2014
  • Provincial Court of British Columbia


Plaintiff City of Vancouver


  • Abdolabbas Abdiannia Carrying on Business As Ahwaz Hookah House
  • Ahdolhamid Mohammadian Carrying on Business As Persia Smoke Shop, AKA Persian Tea House

Legislation Cited

Health By-law No. 9535

Vancouver Charter, Section 330(a)

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