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Dah hookah.
├ćndrew Rininsland/the Gauntlet

Smoking bylaw goes down smooth, mostly

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The new anti-smoking bylaw passed without torches or angry mobs, and University of Calgary students in particular have had few difficulties.

Calgary's anti-smoking bylaw came into effect Mon., Jan. 1, banning smoking in bars and restaurants. The Black Lounge was converted into a non-smoking establishment Jan. 1, although the Den went smoke-free in September. Students' Union vice-president operations and finance Cody Wagner suggested this made the transition easier.

"We were ahead of the city," said Wagner. "The students have been really receptive."

There have not been any major incidents in the Black Lounge since the ban, and Wagner reported steady business, as usual. Black Lounge staff are also happy with their new smoke-free work environment.

"Our business has gone on as it did last semester," said Wagner. "It's performed at that same level."

With the Black Lounge problem-free, the only campus organization with difficulties is the Social Smoke Club, an SU-sanctioned club whose members smoke sheesha, a flavoured tobacco popular in many Middle-Eastern countries.

"We usually have our meetings at the Hop In Brew," said Social Smoke Club president Richard Freeman. "And we can't have our meetings there because at our meetings we smoke sheesha."

However, the smoking ban is not a point of contention for the club, noted Freeman.

"I'm pro the new smoking ban," said Freeman. "Everyone should have the right to walk into a public place and not have to deal with smoke."

Despite the smoking ban and no place to host sheesha meetings, the club is not finished. Finding a private residence to host meetings is still a possibility, noted Freeman.

"We'll maybe have it as a social club now without the smoking," said Freeman. "There was no club that was just solely for the enjoyment of other people, so that's why we started the club."

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