Karnataka Bans Hookah Sale and Consumption from Immediate Effects

Bengaluru: The state government has issued an immediate ban on the sales, consumption, possession, and advertising of hookah products in Karnataka, effective from Wednesday. 

The government notification issued by the Department of Health and Family Welfare noted that hookah bars not only risk the spread of communicable diseases such as herpes, tuberculosis, hepatitis, and Covid-19 due to the direct contact with one’s mouth but they also pose fire safety risks and violate fire safety norms. 

The order has outlined how hookah consumption in hotels, bars, and restaurants has made food consumption unsafe for the general public and could negatively impact their health. 

After months of deliberations the Government of Karnataka Imposed ban on sale and consumption of Hookah. ( picture: Deccan Herald)

Therefore, in the interest of the general public’s health, the government has banned hookah with and without tobacco or nicotine, flavored and unflavoured hookah, sheesha and molasses hookah, and all other types of hookah with immediate effect. 

The state government also ordered that violators will be booked under COTPA (Cigarette and Tobacco Products Act ) 2003, Child Care and Protection Act 2015, Food Safety and Quality Act 2006, Karnataka Poisons (Possession and Sale) Rules 2015 and Indian Penal Code and Fire Control and Fire Protection Act.

The state health department highlighted that hookah is a product that is consumed orally through a nozzle or pipe device in a sealed container. The consumption of hookah spreads infectious diseases like herpes, tuberculosis, hepatitis, Covid-19 and other diseases through the mouth, it said.

The government referred to studies that point out 45 minutes of hookah smoking is equivalent to smoking 100 cigarettes and is harmful to health. According to the report of the World Health Organization, hookah is an addictive substance that contains high amounts of nicotine or tobacco and molasses or flavouring substances containing the chemical carbon monoxide, which is very dangerous to health.

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