Hookah Bars banned in Haryana

Chandigarh: The Haryana Assembly on Monday passed a bill completely prohibiting opening or running hookah bars or serving hookah to customers in any place, including eating houses, in the state.

The Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Haryana Amendment Bill, 2024, was passed on Monday evening.

This bill was moved in the House by the Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij.

According to the bill, “The following section shall be inserted: ‘4-A. Prohibition of hookah bar — Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, no person shall either on his own or on behalf of any other person, open or run any hookah bar or serve hookah to a customer in any place, including an eating house’.”

The bill has defined “eating house” as “any place where food or refreshment of any kind is provided or sold to visitors for consumption”.

Vij said it has been mentioned that “hookah bar” means any commercial establishment where people gather to smoke, and it is not for those who smoke traditional hookah at home.

Vij asserted that the bill specifically talks about commercial establishments.

According to the bill’s statement of objects and reasons, the Haryana government has taken serious note of hookah bars serving hookah with tobacco containing nicotine. Several times, even banned drugs are served in the hookah bars under the guise of flavours/herbs.

The smoke of such flavoured hookah contains various toxicants, which are not only harmful for the person smoking but also those nearby due to passive smoking.

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