No More Vapour: Karnataka Govt Bans Hookah Products Citing Health Concerns

The hookah ban is also meant to crack down on illegal hookah bars, especially near schools and colleges.

2 min read

Lounging in hookah bars has turned into a pipe dream for folks in Karnataka following a recent government order.

Know more: On Thursday, 8 February, the Karnataka Health Department imposed a blanket ban on the sale, distribution, and consumption of hookah products in the state.

  • The list of prohibited products include tobacco or nicotine, non-tobacco and non-nicotine hookah, flavoured hookah, molasses, sheesha (hookah water pipe), etc.

  • The ban applies to hotels, restaurants, pubs, bars, lounges, cafes, clubs, and other public establishments.

  • The order has been issued under the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA), 2003, as well as the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015.

Why ban? Besides tackling tobacco-related diseases, the Karnataka government said that the ban is meant to crack down on illegal hookah bars in the state, especially those that have sprung up near schools and other educational institutions.

Join the club: Hookah bars or lounges have been banned through law in several Indian states, including Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Punjab, and Haryana.


By the numbers: “This decisive action is backed by alarming data from the WHO Global Adult Tobacco Survey-2016-17 (GATS-2)," the Karnataka Health Department's statement read. The WHO survey reportedly states that:

  • 22.8% of adults in Karnataka use tobacco, with 8.8% of them being smokers

  • 23.9% of adults are exposed to second-hand smoke in public places

  • Rs 983 crore was the cost incurred by the Karnataka government in 2011, due to tobacco-related illnesses among individuals aged 35-69, according to the statement.

Yes, but: Last year, the Supreme Court had struck down a ban on the sale and use of hookahs in Mumbai at spots where smoking was already legally permitted.

Speaking of: The hookah was the official party symbol of the Pakistan National Muslim League in the country's 2018 general elections.

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