NEW DELHI: The licences of several hotels and restaurants serving hookah under the garb of herbal materials will be cancelled, the Delhi government said on Tuesday.
“Hookah smoking is not allowed in either non-smoking or even smoking zones in Delhi,” said Health Minister Satyendar Jain.
“Hookah Bars in any form are illegal and Delhi Police & MCD should cancel the licenses of such restaurants, eateries and hotels where such illegal Hookah bars are operating,” added the minister.
Conducting raids in various hotels, the State Tobacco Control Cell found the presence of nicotine in significant amount in all hookah samples, that claims to be herbal in nature.
“It has been noticed that Hookah Smoking is rampant in restaurants/Eateries/Hotels in metropolitan cities including Delhi these days, and has unfortunately become status symbols even in Family Functions,” said a statement from the Delhi government, further adding that the younger generation needs to be protected from the harmful effects of tobacco.
The state has written to the police and civic body to take immediate action on the same.
“Unlike in earlier times where Hookah was mostly used by the village elders, it has gained popularity among the youth in today’s lifestyle. People consider Hookah as a safe alternative to smoking without realizing that it is even more harmful and has an adverse impact on their health,” said Jain.
Hookah smoking is currently banned in non-smoking zones after the amendment to COTPA (Cigarette and other Tobacco Products Act) that prohibits smoking in public in May 2017.
According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a one-hour long Hookah session comprises 200 puffs compared to 30 puffs in a cigarette.