Karnataka introduces law to ban hookah bars; 1-3 years of jail prescribed as punishment | Bangalore News – DollarJob

Karnataka introduces law to ban hookah bars; 1-3 years of jail prescribed as punishment | Bangalore News

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The Karnataka government on Tuesday introduced a Bill to ban hookah bars with a prescription of imprisonment for one to three years and fines of up to Rs 1 lakh as punishments for violations.

The Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) (Karnataka Amendment) Bill 2024 introduced in the Assembly by Home Minister G Parameshwara amends the central Act of 2003.

The amended law also prohibits the use of tobacco products in public places and the sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products to people below the age of 21 years.

“Whoever contravenes the provisions of section 4A shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than one year but may extend to three years and with [a] fine which shall not be less than fifty thousand rupees but may extend up to one lakh rupees,” says the amended Bill with respect to the punishment for operating hookah bars.

Fines of Rs 1,000 have been prescribed for users of hookah bars.

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In December 2023 Parameshwara announced plans to ban hookah bars in the state. “The government will initiate stringent measures to curb hookah bars and sale of other narcotic substances. The number of hookah bars in the state has increased over the years,” the home minister said.

The new legislation is along the lines of other states’ laws that ban hookah bars. It has been drafted in consultation with the health and family welfare department.

On February 7, the department had issued a notification banning the sale and consumption of hookah with immediate effect. “The hookah bar is a cause of fire hazards and violates state fire control and fire safety laws. Consumption of hookah in hotels, bars and restaurants makes food items unsafe for public consumption and may adversely affect public health,” the notification stated.

“In general, the sale, consumption, and advertising of hookah products known as hookah tobacco or nicotine-containing, nicotine-free, tobacco-free, flavoured, unflavoured hookah molasses, shisha and other similar names and the producing, procuring, trading of the same has been banned with immediate effect in the interest of public health in the state,” it added.

The government also referred to studies that state that 45 minutes of hookah smoking is equivalent to smoking 100 cigarettes and harmful to health.

According to the World Health Organization, hookah is an addictive substance that contains high amounts of nicotine or tobacco and molasses or flavouring substances containing carbon monoxide, which is very dangerous to health.



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