Hookah bars have been permanently banned in Punjab as President Ram Nath Kovind has given assent to a Bill from the state to check use of tobacco. Punjab is the third state in the country after Gujarat and Maharashtra where hookah bars or lounges were banned through law.
The President has given assent to the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply, and Distribution) (Punjab Amendment) Bill, 2018 recently, a Home Ministry official said.
The Punjab assembly had passed the Bill in March. The objective of bringing the law is to check the use of tobacco in various forms and prevent diseases caused by the use of tobacco products.
Hookah bars are establishments where people share ‘sheesha’ from a ‘hookah’ which is placed at each table or a bar. The hookah has a long pipe for smoking that passes smoke through a container of water to cool it.
Smoking of hookah increases health risks includes exposure to toxic chemicals that are not filtered out by the water, and also the risk of infectious disease like tuberculosis resulting from sharing a hookah, another official said.