Ordinance combined with studies delivering deadly blows to hookah bar, says owner

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- New studies mixed with a Kansas City ordinance are forcing some metro businesses to close their doors.

While customers say Ali Baba is one of Kansas City's most popular hookah bars, its owner says in the last couple of months business has dropped 85 percent.

He says that is due to Kansas City's new city ordinance that says you have to be 21 to smoke at hookah bars. He says that mixed with new studies is giving hookah a bad name.

A study from University of Pittsburgh researchers found cigarette smoking rates are falling because more people are smoking from hookahs but the study revealed one hookah session delivers approximately 125-times the smoke, 25-times the tar, 2.5-times the nicotine and 10-times the carbon monoxide as smoking one cigarette.

While Ali Baba's owner claims his hookah contains no tar, he says these studies are killing his business and he's not the only one.

"I'm a friend with hookah bar owners and we have meetings sometimes with issues like 75-85 percent of our business going down," owner Firas Haha said.

Ali Baba's owner says if business doesn't pick up soon he could be forced to close his doors as early as this year.