City council has voted to ban the use of hookah pipes at all licensed establishments in Toronto.

Councillors voted 34-3 in favour of a motion filed by Toronto Coun. Joe Mihevc, which will take effect on April 1, 2016.

Only Coun. Giorgio Mammoliti, Coun. Denzil Minnan-Wong and Coun. Jim Karyigiannis voted against the motion.

The motion is based on a report published in May, which recommended the ban to "address the health risks of hookah use." The report came after a Toronto Public Health consultation that included feedback from businesses, patrons, neighbouring businesses, and health centres.

The report initially asked city council to prohibit the use of hookahs in all licensed Toronto businesses by Oct. 1, but the matter was deferred to the Nov. 4 council meeting.

At the same time, Toronto Coun. Jim Karygiannis recommended another option: that the city create a new category under its municipal licensing code, which would allow hookah lounges to remain in operation.

Under Karygiannis' proposal, only non-tobacco products would be permitted, and no food or liquor would be sold on the premises. Minors would not be allowed in the lounges.

They would also have to display signs about the "harmful health effects of hookahs," Karygiannis wrote.

Hookahs, also known as waterpipes, are used to smoke tobacco or shisha, non-tobacco herbal products. Toronto Medical Officer of Health David McKeown said that, contrary to popular belief, the water in the pipe doesn't filter harmful chemicals or particles from the smoke.

Under the Smoke-Free Ontario Act (SFOA), smoking tobacco in hookahs while inside a public space or workplace isn't allowed. The act, however, doesn't prohibit indoor smoking of shisha. McKeown says this "undermines" Ontario's smoke-free laws.

It is estimated that between 60 and 80 hookah lounges are currently operating in Toronto, but because the businesses are unlicensed, the city could not provide a specific number.